The New South Wales Breakers, led by Australian vice-captain Alex Blackwell, beat the Queensland Fire, captained by Delissa Kimmince, in a one-sided WNCL final overnight.
Having won the toss and chosen to bat, the Fire got off to the worst possible start as their big-hitting wicket-keeper batsman Beth Mooney was caught at slip off the very first ball from Rene Farrell. Farrell went on to take two further wickets in a man-of-the-match-winning opening spell which, along with the run out of Kirby Short, reduced the Fire to 40-4 inside 9 overs. Jess Jonassen (21) Kimmince (24) and Jemma Barsby (30) fought back a bit, but the pressure to get runs on the board against a massive Breakers batting line-up was too much, and the Fire slumped to 119 all-out.
The Fire needed a miracle; but what they got was Alyssa Healy (56*) and Alex Blackwell (36*). In no mood to show mercy, the Breakers knocked off the runs in less than 25 overs, with Healy hitting the last 2 balls for 6 and 4 – slogging Delissa Kimmince back over her head on both occasions, with the confidence that comes from knowing you are sealing your 18th WNCL title in the 21 years the competition has been running in its current format.
PS – Massive thanks and kudos to Cricket Australia for live-streaming this match at near-broadcast quality, and to Lisa Sthalekar and Mel Jones for keeping us company throughout – it really does make such a difference when the commentators actually know their women’s cricket and have an in-depth insight into the players and the teams involved.
PPS – There also appeared to be a bigger crowd than in previous years – perhaps the “WBBL Effect” rubbing-off on other areas of the domestic game?