With the Fire winning the toss and sending the home side into bat, it wasn’t a decision that particularly bothered the Tigers initially. The majority of the top order got decent starts – including Rachel Priest (25 runs off 24 balls), Nicola Carey (27 off 33) and Naomi Stalenberg (23 off 24) – however, luck was not on the side of the Tigers early. In fact, the Tigers slumped to 6-101 in the 24th over before Sarah Coyte combined with Emily Smith to get the innings back on track.
Coyte and Smith put on a partnership of 61 runs, before Smith was controversially dismissed for 21. Belinda Vakarewa then replaced Smith at the crease and added a handy 14 runs off 12 deliveries to the total score, before she too was sent back to the sheds.
In the end, Coyte – in just her third game for the Tigers – was the top-scorer for the innings, posting a well-made 66 runs off 88 deliveries, in an innings that included five boundaries. It was Coyte’s maiden half century as a Tiger and her first time reaching that milestone since 2011, when she was playing for New South Wales.
The Tigers recovered sufficiently to bat out their 50 overs at the crease, finishing at 9-226 with Amy Smith (22*) and Sam Bates (3*) in the middle. Smith – who hit consecutive boundaries off the last two balls of the innings – finished with the highest strike rate of any batter for the match; 118.18.
It was also a solid start in the field for the Tigers, who claimed the wicket of Queensland opener, Georgia Voll, for four in just the third over of the innings. When Charli Knott followed three overs later for six, there was a sense we had a game on our hands. However, Georgia Redmayne and Grace Harris had other ideas.
Try as the Tigers might, they could not dismiss the pair. Both finished carrying the bat, with Redmayne undefeated on 90 runs off 97 balls, and Harris – who started ‘slow’ by her own admission – unbeaten on 109 off 96. Between them the pair amassed an incredible 25 boundaries – eight of them being sixes from Harris.
In the end, the Fire reached the required winning total of 227 in the 37th over, earning them a bonus point to go along with the win.
The Tigers now have just one match of the regular season remaining, a must-win clash with the South Australia Scorpions in Adelaide on Friday 19 March.