Vics hand Tigers second loss of season

The Tigers suffered just their second loss of the season against Victoria, with Nicole Faltum's knock of 86 steering the home side to victory.

Having already earnt the right to host the WNCL final, the Tigers went into their second clash with Victoria hoping to consolidate form and put the full stop on the regular season. However, a plucky Victorian outfit were too strong and finished deserving winners at the CitiPower Centre.

With captain Elyse Villani out with a shoulder flare, Clare Scott entered the XI while Sasha Moloney took charge of the side.

Bowling first, Tasmania were unable to make their usual quick breakthrough - with Nicole Faltum and Sophie Reid commencing their innings nicely. Faltum's leadership qualities were on display as she took the offensive, and it wasn't until the 13th over that Lauren Smith was able to take the games first wicket - removing Reid for 19.

Smith struck again to remove Olivia Henry - but the Vics had made a solid start at 2-80, with Faltum continuing to impress.

Heather Graham managed to snare the wicket of Tess Flintoff, before Nic Carey claimed the critical scalp of Faltum, on her way after an excellent 86 off just 91 balls.

At 4-153, Tasmania faced a fresh challenge in the form of Meg Lanning, who joined Ella Hayward at the crease. Hayward made a handy 28, but it was Lanning who reminded everyone once again of her supreme talent, blasting a quickfire 64 off just 50 balls to put Victoria in the drivers seat.

Buoyed by Lanning's efforts, the home side posted a strong total of 9-268, giving the Tigers a job to do at the crease.

Lizelle Lee and Nic Carey opened for Tasmania in Villani's absence, and started nicely - but Victoria were quick to strike back.

Tayla Vlaeminck removed Lee for a run-a-ball 16, before trapping Heather Graham lbw just overs later with the Tigers 2-49 within 7 overs - scoring quickly, but without two of their big hitters.

Naomi Stalenberg was removed in the next over, but Nic Carey and Emma Manix-Geeves didn't panic. Carey in particular played superbly, allowing Manix-Geeves to get herself in while chipping away at the total.

The pair batted together for over twenty overs and added a hundred runs before Manix-Geeves fell for a handy 45 off 60 balls - with a much healthier total of 4=159 on the board.

Tabatha Saville couldn't quite get going, but Carey continued her inspiring chase. The all-rounder moved into the 90s before disaster struck - falling on 92, just shy of a well deserved century. 

Having moved past 200, and needing just 70 runs to win, Tasmania were down to their lower order - and despite a valiant effort from Lauren Smith (28), were unable to find the runs, and finished 24 runs short of the target.

Full scorecard here:

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