WNCL Match Report: SA v TAS

Tigers’ captain, Sasha Moloney, won the toss and elected to send the Scorpions into bat – always a likely decision given the Tigers good record at chasing against South Australia. The decision paid off early when Scorpions opener, Emma de Broughe, departed in the ninth over with just five runs to her name.

Her opening compatriot in Bridget Patterson – who made yet another century in the Scorpions most recent match against Western Australia – appeared not fazed by de Broughe’s early departure, combining with Josie Dooley for an epic 135-run partnership.

It wasn’t a chanceless innings for either player, with the Tigers making some fumbles in the field, but Patterson looked like she was threatening to make back-to-back tons before Sam Bates snared the crucial wicket, dismissing her for 81.

Dooley continued on her merry way however, going on to notch 116 runs off just 112 balls, in what was not only her first WNCL century, but what turned out to be a Player of the Match-winning performance.  It was Heather Graham who got the breakthrough, in what was a memorable spell of bowling.

A full toss to Dooley was caught by Naomi Stalenberg at deep square leg, and then the following ball, the exact same delivery to Tegan McPharlin yielded the exact same result – caught by Stalenberg in her signature one-handed fielding style.  On a hat trick, Graham decided to mix it up a bit and go with a yorker, which was adjudged LBW and sent Annie O’Neil back to the sheds for a golden duck.

Graham went on to take 5-fa, finishing with incredible figures of 5-44 off her 10 overs.  Bates was also excellent with the ball, finishing with 3-24 off her 10.  South Australia, however, finished with an imposing target of 8-266 off their 50 overs.

The Tigers’ chase got off to a less-than-ideal start when on the first ball of the second over, captain, Sasha Moloney, was dismissed for a golden duck.  Two overs later – shortly after copping a nasty blow on her bottom hand, which required on-field medical attention – Rachel Priest followed, and the tourists were at 2-13.  With Meg Phillips (10), Naomi Stalenberg (11) and Corinne Hall (1) all failing to get a start, the situation became dire when the Tigers slumped to 5-56 in the 14th.

The Tigers’ hero from the first innings in Graham rallied however, and together with Sarah Coyte the pair built a nice little partnership of 54, before Coyte’s wicket fell for 32.  Keeper Emily Smith then joined Graham at the crease, with the task yet again to form a partnership.  However, two overs later Graham’s number was up, when she was adjudged to have been trapped LBW by former Tiger, Courtney Webb.

Smith was then joined by Emma Manix-Geeves at the crease, who was playing her first game for the Tigers this season.  The pair built a handy partnership of 33 runs, before Manix-Geeves holed out to Brooke Harris, and was sent back to the sheds for 16.  Smith then sought her next partner in her teenage namesake, Amy Smith, and for a pair named at eight and ten in the batting order, they didn’t show it.  Together they added another 52 runs to the Tigers’ total, before Emily Smith went one shot too big and was caught out in the deep.

Emily Smith’s departure – with a top-score of 41 for the Tigers, in an innings that saw five boundaries including one six – all but signalled the end of proceedings.  Amy Smith’s was the final wicket to fall for a well-made 23 off 29 balls, and the Tigers were all out for 205 after 44.1 overs, handing the Scorpions a win with a bonus point.

Tasmania have now finished their 2021 WNCL campaign with four wins, three losses and a draw, but will have to wait until the conclusion of the round matches to determine their final placing on the ladder.

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