The Lend Lease Breakers won their eighth consecutive Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) title by defeating the Queensland Fire by 15 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis Method in today’s Final at the SCG.
Sent into bat, the Queensland innings was anchored by a determined century from their captain, Jodie Fields. She made 102 not out from 122 balls, including 11 boundaries. It was just the second ever century in the 17-season history of WNCL Finals and earned her the Player of the Final award.
Fields found willing allies in Jude Coleman (24) and Jemma Barsby (27), with both players combining with the skipper for 50 run partnerships.
They finished their 50 overs at 7-232 with Angela Reakes (2-23) and Sarah Coyte (2-34) the multiple wicket takers for the Lend Lease Breakers.
The Lend Lease Breakers lost their first wicket in the fifth over when Leah Poulton (12) was caught at mid-off with the score on 25. Rachael Haynes and Alex Blackwell then put NSW firmly on the front foot with a 47 run second wicket stand.
Just as it looked like the batters were set, Queensland struck with Delissa Kimmince removing both Haynes (36) and Lisa Sthalekar (2) in quick succession.
With storms looming, the Lend Lease Breakers now had to keep one eye on the Duckworth-Lewis Par score.
They managed to get ahead thanks to a 45 run partnership between Blackwell and Alyssa Healy, however, Queensland got themselves back into the game again by taking the wicket of Healy for 22.
With rain starting to fall, Blackwell (43no) and Sarah Coyte (11no) made sure the home side was in front when the umpires took the teams from the field. The Lend Lease Breakers were 4-135, 15 runs ahead of the Par score. Play was finally abandoned at 5:30pm.
Lend Lease Breakers captain, Alex Blackwell, said she was pleased with the team’s effort in extending their run of consecutive WNCL titles to eight.
“Queensland came out at us pretty hard and put on a decent total for us to chase. We had to bat sensibly with the rain around and we were really happy with how we approached our innings. We had to be positive, but not lose wickets and that can sometimes be a tricky balance. One more wicket before the rain came and we could’ve been behind,” she said.
The Lend Lease Breakers have one more challenge left to face this summer. Next Saturday (January 19), they will play the Western Fury in the Final of the Women’s T20 competition.
NSW has been runners up in this competition to Victoria for the last three years, and the team is desperate to add the elusive trophy to their cabinet, which would also make them the first team to win both the WNCL and WT20 crowns in the same year.