It has been over two months since our last taste of WNCL action, but the long wait will be over with the Tasmanian Roar preparing for the final round of the season.
The Roar will take on the ladder-leading NSW Breakers and the fifth-placed ACT Meteors across the weekend in pursuit of finishing the season in strong fashion.
Tasmanian fans are yet to have had a chance to see the Roar in action at home, with the side travelling to Adelaide prior to the Women’s Ashes for round one, and then to Melbourne before the launch of the Women’s Big Bash League for round two.
Several Roar players have starred with some excellent individual performances, and although the side has shown promise throughout the season so far, they enter the final round without tasting success so far. One change has been made for the Roar, with Emily Divin replacing the injured Katelyn Fryett.
With two matches remaining in the regular season, the Roar will be eager to finish the tournament on a high against two quality opposition sides.
Ladder position: 7th
Squad: Brooke Hepbrun, Corinne Hall, Stefanie Daffara, Emily Divin, Erin Fazackerley, Isobel Joyce, Meg Phillips, Veronica Pyke, Celeste Raack, Georgia Redmayne, Emma Thompson, Courtney Webb, Laura Wright
The Roar are yet to secure a victory this WNCL season, despite some positive performances and magnificent individual efforts. The side travelled to Adelaide for the first round before going down to the Western Fury and South Australian Scorpions by seven wickets and six wickets respectively.
After the break for the Women’s Ashes, the Roar travelled to Melbourne for round two but fell short of the Victorian Spirit by four wickets and the Queensland Fire by eight wickets.
Players to watch…
Fazackerley has had an impressive start to her WNCL career, making 27 and 41 in her first two matches while also taking a wicket on debut. The 19-year-old also impressed in her Governor-General’s XI debut against England, taking 2-13, while also showing plenty of promise in her five matches for the Hobart Hurricanes across WBBL|03.
The newly crowned Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year, Redmayne is a genuine star with the bat and with the gloves, and after making 89 against the Fury earlier this season and two centuries last year on top of another impressive WBBL campaign, expect Redmayne to finish the WNCL season in fine touch.
Wright is the Roar’s leading run scorer so far this season with 138 runs at 46. Her sensational 104 not out against the Spirit saw her become the second Roar player to register a WNCL century after Georgia Redmayne.
Ladder position: 1st
The reigning WNCL champions have been in fine form throughout this WNCL season, defeating the Queensland Fire, Victorian Spirit, Western Fury and ACT Meteors to lead all-comers at the top of the table.
The Breakers have taken four bonus points in four matches and sit seven points clear of the Western Fury atop the table, ensuring a home final will be guaranteed if a win is recorded against either the Roar or South Australian Scorpions on Sunday.
Full WNCL Squad: Alex Blackwell (C), Sarah Aley, Nicola Carey, Lauren Cheatle, Rene Farrell, Maisy Gibson, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry, Lauren Smith, Naomi Stalenberg, Belinda Vakarewa, Rachel Trenaman, Hannah Trethewy, Carly Leeson, Saskia Horley, Mikayla Hinkley, Tahlia Wilson, Lisa Griffith
Players to watch:
The Australian wicketkeeper has had another stellar summer, being part of Australia’s Ashes success, the Sydney Sixers’ WBBL triumph and being the seventh-leading run scorer in both the WBBL and WNCL.
The competition’s joint leading wicket taker with nine, Farrell has enjoyed a successful summer with the Breakers and Sydney Thunder, using her experience to guide both sides to successful seasons.
After being awarded the Belinda Clark Award for the second time earlier this week, Elyse Perry’s stunning cricketing resume continues to grow. The second highest run scorer for the competition with 219 and the Breakers’ fourth highest wicket taker this season, Perry is a matchwinner with bat and ball while also providing great assistance to captain Alex Blackwell as a leader. Expect the Roar to enter the match with clear plans for curtailing Perry’s influence.
Ladder position: 5th
The Meteors started the tournament in great form, knocking off the Victorian Spirit and Queensland Fire in the first round, but were unable to continue this winning streak in round two, falling short against the Western Fury and NSW Breakers to sit with a 2-2 record.
The Meteors are one win off the second-placed Fury and will be looking to secure two wins in Hobart to keep a top two, and final berth as a possibility.
South African duo Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp are big omissions for the Meteors, having returned home for international duties, but Maitlan Brown, who missed the start of the WNCL season with injury returns to the side after an impressive WBBL campaign with the Melbourne Renegades.
Squad: Erin Osborne (C), Samantha Bates, Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Nicole Goodwin, Nicola Hancock, Clara Iemma, Hayley Jensen, Erica Kershaw, Claire Koski, Emily Leys, Katie Mack, Angela Reakes
Players to watch…
Burns, a former Roar and Hurricanes player, will be a key figure for the Meteors, with her presence providing plenty of experience to the side’s middle order. With 88 runs across her four innings so far this campaign, Burns is a batter the Roar will not be able to take lightly.
Hancock impressed in her maiden season as a Hurricane, leading the side for wickets taken, while finishing the year with consecutive two-wicket performances. Expect Hancock to fire up against a host of her Hurricanes teammates.
Mack is the Meteors’ leading run scorer so far this season with 142 at an average of 47, with the Melbourne Stars gun scoring an excellent unbeaten 113 off 125 balls in the Meteors’ 66-run win over the Fire at Manuka Oval.
The Meteors will take on the South Australian Scorpions at the Kingston Twin Ovals on Friday before facing the Roar on Sunday.
Tasmanian Roar vs NSW Breakers – 10.00am, Friday February 16, Lindisfarne Oval
Tasmanian Roar vs ACT Meteors – 10.00am, Sunday February 18, Kingston Twin Ovals