The Lend Lease Breakers remain undefeated in the 2011/12 Women’s National Cricket League competition following a convincing 37 run win over the Victoria Spirit at Blacktown International Sportspark today (December 3).
Losing the toss and being sent in to bat, NSW responded by posting an excellent 8-275 from their 50 overs.
Little separated the teams in the early stages, however, the arrival of Lisa Sthalekar at the crease in the 14th over with the score 2-42 saw the Lend Lease Breakers start to pull away from their arch rivals.
Taking some calculated risks, Sthalekar and former Victorian captain, Rachael Haynes (43), put on 44 runs for the third wicket in as many balls, before a 122 run partnership from 100 balls between Sthalekar and Coyte put the home side right on top. Coyte was eventually out for 54, while Sthalekar fell at the death, lbw for 94 from 83 deliveries.
The loss of these two batters provided no respite for the visitors, with Ellyse Perry and Erin Osborne putting on 36 runs from 32 balls for the eighth wicket, taking the score past 250 in the process.
In the field, the Lend Lease Breakers immediately had their rivals on the back foot with Ellyse Perry trapping both Danni Wyatt (0) and Jess Cameron (5) lbw before the 10th over. Meg Lanning and Sarah Elliott settled things down with a 53 run third wicket stand before Sthalekar got into the action, drawing a top edge from Lanning to have the dangerous opener caught at mid-wicket for 34.
Elliott and Kelly Applebee kept Victoria in the hunt with a rapid 44 run partnership, however, both batters lost their wickets in quick succession. Applebee became Sthalekar’s second wicket while a brilliant direct hit by Sarah Coyte saw Elliott run out for 60.
Victorian captain, Emma Inglis, gave her side some hope with 46 from 37, however the lower order failed to rally around her and the Spirit were bowled out for 238 in the 46th over.
For the Lend Lease Breakers, Ellyse Perry claimed 3-38 from nine overs, while Lisa Sthalekar was named Player of the Match for her haul of 94 runs, 2-31 with the ball and a sharp run out to end the match.
With the win set up with the bat, Sthalekar said the key to the team’s success was to remain positive after a slow start.
“It was definitely a new ball wicket and I think both teams struggled a little early on. At 2-42, Rachael (Haynes) and I spoke about the need to keep the scoreboard ticking over at a good rate. If we had dug in we would have gotten ourselves into trouble so we backed ourselves, took a few risks and things started to fall our way,” she said.
This was the Lend Lease Breakers fourth win in as many matches in the WNCL competition. They also sit on top of the Women’s T20 competition table.