The Lend Lease Breakers travel to Perth this weekend, looking to clinch their first Women’s T20 crown when they play the Western Fury at The Furnace on Saturday afternoon (January 19).
The Lend Lease Breakers were the Minor Premiers in this competition, winning all 12 preliminary round matches to finish nine points clear of the second placed Fury.
The WT20 Final is being played as a double header with the KFC T20 Big Bash League Final, with the women’s match broadcast live on Fox Sports. The match starts at 12:30pm Perth time, 3:30pm in Sydney.
Selectors have made just one change to the squad of 13 which won the Women’s National Cricket League 50 over Final last Sunday, with Claire Koski coming in for Ellyse Perry, who will be playing in the W-League this weekend.
The full squad is (clubs/regions in brackets):
Alex Blackwell (captain – Universities/Riverina)
Rachael Haynes (vice-captain – Universities)
Sarah Aley (Bankstown Sports)
Nicola Carey (St George-Sutherland)
Sarah Coyte (Campbelltown-Camden)
Alyssa Healy (Sydney)
Claire Koski (Campbelltown-Camden)
Sharon Millanta (Bankstown Sports)
Erin Osborne (St George-Sutherland/Central North)
Leah Poulton (St George-Sutherland/Newcastle)
Angela Reakes (Sydney/North Coast)
Lisa Sthalekar (Gordon)
Kara Sutherland (Universities/North Coast)
There is no shortage of strike power in the Lend Lease Breakers line-up, which includes eight players from the Australian squad from last year’s World T20 in Sri Lanka, six of whom will also travel to India for next month’s 50 over World Cup.
Alex Blackwell (337 at 48.14) and Leah Poulton (318 at 35.33) are the top two run scorers in this summer’s WT20 competition, with Alyssa Healy (286 @ 26.00) also featuring in the top 10 batters.
Lisa Sthalekar (16 at 10.94) is the competition’s equal leading wicket-taker, with Sarah Coyte, Angela Reakes, Sharon Millanta and Sarah Aley also taking 12 wickets each this summer.
Despite winning the last eight consecutive WNCL titles, the WT20 trophy has eluded the NSW girls for the last three seasons, falling to Victoria each time in the Final.
“This is the big one. It is the one trophy missing from our cabinet and to me it would feel like we have proven we are the best team in the National competition,” said Lend Lease Breakers captain, Alex Blackwell.
“Western Australia are a pretty disciplined bowling team and they have improved a lot from last season. They have three key batters in Suzie Bates, Nicole Bolton and Jenny Wallace, so it is important that we limit the partnerships between these players.”
Blackwell was also confident that the team could cover the loss of Perry for the Final.
“We would have loved to have had Ellyse in our side for Saturday. We realise it has been a tough decision for her and we wish her well for the W-League Semi Final. However, we have great depth in our squad and all of our bowlers have been in good form this summer.”
The Lend Lease Breakers will travel to Perth on Friday (January 18) to prepare for Saturday’s match.