Victoria on top as Perry, Villani shine against South Australian Scorpions
A clinical bowling effort backed by half-centuries from Elyse Villani and Ellyse Perry helped Victoria Women register their fourth consecutive victory of this year’s Women’s National Cricket League season with a two-wicket win in a last-over thriller against South Australian Scorpions on Tuesday (February 23).
Chasing close to four runs an over, Victoria lost Sophie Molineux and Meg Lanning early. They were reduced to 26 for two in 7.2 overs. Joined by Perry, Villani revived slowly revived the innings. The experienced duo was happy to take their time to settle and rotate the strike. They added 112 runs for the third wicket before Villani was caught in a mix-up and was run out for 61 runs from 96 balls. Walking in at five, Annabel Sutherland took charge of the chase letting Perry play the anchor.
She scored a brisk 34 from 44 balls in a 48-run partnership with Perry before getting out to Samantha Betts. With Perry in the crease, it looked like a comfortable win for Victoria. However, Tahlia McGrath triggered a mini-collapse dismissing Perry and Georgia Wareham in quick succession.
With Megan Schutt and Jemma Barbsy running through the lower-order, the equation came down to five runs in the last over with two wickets in hand. Molly Strano held her nerve to hit two boundaries off Barbsy and took Victoria to a two-wicket win.
Earlier, after being put to bat first, the Scorpions openers Bridget Patterson and McGrath started well with a 52-run partnership before the latter was trapped on the pads by Molineux for 25 runs from 40 balls. Patterson fell in the very next over to Strano for a 59-ball 25, and the Scorpions were reduced to 54 for two.
Josie Dooley and Courtney Webb tried to build a partnership. Together, they added 42 runs for the third wicket. Webb scored 21 runs from 27 balls before getting out to Molineux.
Wareham got rid of Barbsy and Amanda-Jade Wellington, too, did not last long. Despite wickets falling at the other end, Dooley held the innings together and brought up her half-century. She scored 68 from 88 balls and remained unbeaten till the end, as the Scorpions scrapped their way past the 200-run mark.
Eventually, they were all out for 205 in 48.5 overs. Though Wareham and Molineux took a couple of wickets each, Strano was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for 32 runs.
Victoria Women: 209 for 8 in 49.4 overs (Ellyse Perry 67, Tahlia McGrath 4/46) beat South Australian Scorpions: 205/10 in 48.5 overs (Josie Dolley 68, Molly Strano 3/32) by two wickets.