The Sydney weather threatened to do what it has for the past two weeks, with the toss and then start of play both delayed.  However, with some incredible work by the North Sydney Oval groundskeepers, play commenced at 3.20pm local time, with only a single over lost for each side.

Losing the toss and being sent into the field, the Tasmanians relished the opportunity.  It was 18-year-old Hayley Silver-Holmes opening the bowling against her former side in just her second game in Tasmanian colours.  After taking a little bit of time to work out what the pitch was doing, Silver- Holmes got the breakthrough her team required, claiming the wicket of opener Saskia Horley for 13.

With runs typically free-flowing for the NSW batters in the early overs, Silver-Holmes’ dismissal of Horley – combined with relentless effort in the field from the Tasmanians – inspired a remarkable chain of events.

Maisy Gibson was brought into the attack with immediate impact, dismissing remaining opener, Tahlia Wilson, for 18 with a plumb LBW.  Four overs later, a near identical delivery saw the dangerous Rachel Trenaman depart for just nine runs.

Next, it was Sasha Moloney who was keen to join in the party.  After bowling in tandem with Gibson for a four-over period where the Tasmanians conceded just a single run, Moloney reaped the rewards of her dot ball pressure, clean bowling young NSW superstar Phoebe Litchfield for six.

After an experienced Erin Burns also lost her wicket courtesy of Gibson – caught and bowled this time – it was up to Breakers captain Sammy-Jo Johnson and young Anika Learoyd to stead the ship.  The pair began piling on the runs and building a nice partnership, until a spectacular running catch from Naomi Stalenberg saw Johnson depart for 19.

The Breakers appeared unfazed by the loss of their captain, with Maitlan Brown picking up where Johnson had left.  Despite not being known for her batting, Brown left onlookers thinking nothing of the sort, combining with Learoyd to pile on 65 runs.  Learoyd went on to make a well-deserved half century, before being bowled by Amy Smith on 51.

Brown powered on, nearly doubling her own previous-best WNCL total with the bat, until she too fell victim to Smith, departing for a more than respectable 43 off 65.

From here, the Tasmanians closed out the innings, bowling out the Breakers for 198 with three deliveries to spare.  Gibson (3-43 off nine overs) and Smith (3-32 off eight) were best with the ball for the Tigers, with all six Tasmanian bowlers chipping in to finish with a wicket to their name.

Sticking with what had been working, Rachel Priest and Emma Manix-Geeves strode out to open the batting for the Tigers under lights.  Priest, it seemed, was in some kind of a mood, punishing any slightly loose deliveries early.  A horror second over from Stella Campbell went for 19 runs – courtesy solely of Priest - and the Tigers raced away for 0-31 after four overs.

Struggling to get her share of the strike, Manix-Geeves couldn’t get off the mark until the fifth over, but even then it wasn’t to be, falling victim LBW to an excellent delivery from Johnson in the sixth over.  The loss of Manix-Geeves’ wicket was barely a bump in the road for the Tigers however, as captain Elyse Villani joined Priest at the crease.

The Breakers stemmed the run flow, but the combined experience and patience of Priest and Villani at the crease stood strong, adding a 93-run partnership, whilst Priest brought up her half century in the process.  Villani came oh-so-close to reaching the same milestone, before a change in the bowling attack after drinks caught her unawares, and a sharp catch from Trenaman saw her heading back to the sheds for 44.

The fall of Villani’s wicket spurred some momentum in the NSW team and signalled a mini-collapse of the Tigers batters.  Going from 1-127 in the 29th over, eight overs later the Tigers found themselves at 6-160 with Corinne Hall (1), Priest (84), Molly Strano (5) and Sasha Moloney (5) all joining their captain back on the bench.

Corinne Hall’s dismissal off the bowling of Maitlan Brown was an odd one, with the umpire originally signalling the delivery a wide, before noticing Hall walking and calling it out.  Whilst originally the scorecard noted that Hall had been caught behind by ‘keeper Tahlia Wilson, it was actually a hit-wicket dismissal.

Tasmanian hearts collectively skipped a beat, but the combination of Stalenberg and Gibson at the crease ensured the Tigers didn’t need to worry.  The pair finished unbeaten on 22* and 16* respectively, guiding the Tigers to a four-wicket win with in excess six overs to spare.

Rachel Priest was unsurprisingly named Player of the Match, finishing with 84 runs off 94 deliveries, in an innings that included 13 boundaries.  She also took a catch behind the stumps.

The win all but secures the Tigers’ best-ever finish in WNCL history, but it marks just the second time the Tigers have beaten the Breakers since the competition’s inception.

FULL SCORECARD: cricket.com.au