The home side were on the wrong side of the toss today and sent in to bat, a position that so far has proven to be less-favourable for teams playing at Kingston. Tigers captain, Sasha Moloney, was unfortunately unable to repeat her heroics of the other day, proving the West Australians decision to bowl first a correct one, when Taneale Peschel bowled her for six.
Rachel Priest (23), Heather Graham (29) and Naomi Stalenberg (27) all got starts, but it was Meg Phillips who stepped up to commandeer the Tigers’ innings. In just her second match of the 2021 WNCL season – and her first where she actually had an opportunity to bat – Phillips made an unbeaten 49 off 70 balls. Heartbreakingly close to a half century, Phillips was aptly aided by tail enders Belinda Vakawera (27 off 24) and Amy Smith (19 off 10) to lead the Tigers of a respectable total of 9-215 after their 50 overs.
Nicole Bolton and Emma King were the best for the visitors with the ball, taking three wickets apiece.
Changing up their batting order from the game played at Kingston on Wednesday, Ashely Day moved to open with West Australian captain, Chloe Piparo. The two got off to a steady if cautious start until Vakawera got the breakthrough, claiming the wicket of Day for 12.
Piparo continued to lead by example however, notching up her second half century for the tournament in as many games. When the formidable Nicole Bolton – the 2019-20 Player of the Tournament – joined her at the crease, the pair piled on an impressive 75-run partnership. Even when Piparo’s wicket fell – trapped LBW by Vakawera – for 53 off 106 balls, the visitors still looked more than comfortable with Bolton at the crease. She powered on to make 71 off just 79 balls, before 16-year-old leg spinner, in Amy Smith, got the breakthrough. It was the wicket the Tigers desperately needed, but with 44 runs required from the remaining 41 balls, the match was far from over.
The pressure didn’t phase the teenage Smith however, who went on to take another three wickets following the scalp of Bolton. She then took the ball for the final over. The equation? Western Australia needed seven runs off six balls for the win.
Smith’s final over was contained enough, but with one ball remaining and Peschel on strike, a boundary would return the West Australians to the winners list. Smith bowled a half volley which Peschel attempted to reverse sweep – the ball got away for two but didn’t find the rope, meaning the Tigers claimed the four points by the barest of margins.
Bolton was named Player of the Match, for not only her performance with the bat, but for finishing with figures of 3-46 off her 10 overs with the ball.
The Tigers will now re-group before they host the NSW Breakers next Thursday at Blundstone Arena.