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Lisa Sthalekar


Queensland Fire out of the blocks

14 October 2013 4

The first round of the Women's Domestic season was met with nervous energy by most players and some amazing individual performances from both the winning and losing sides.

For those that were out playing their own cricket, working, enjoying their free time and not glued to the WT20 and WNCL live score feeds I thought that it might be helpful to go through briefly each match to get you up to speed.

Around the Grounds

QLD Fire 4/138 vs TAS Roar 7/134 - (T20 match)

QLD Fire won the toss and elected to bat.  They changed their batting order compared to previous years and this meant that it was a relatively inexperienced opening pair. 

Their nervousness appeared to get the better of them as they slumped to 3-22 until Mooney (50 off 49) and Bulow (40* off 36) and Jonassen (29* off 25) combined for two 50-run partnerships to post a par score of 7-134.

The Roar certainly had their chances throughout the match despite losing regular wickets. 

Burns (56 off 47) and Silva (14 runs) combined at the closing stages to give the Roar a real chance, but when Burns was dismissed with them still requiring 12 runs off 10 balls the experience of the Fire in closing out a match saw them win a close one. 

Both Pike (3-24 off four overs) and Harris (2-24 off four overs) were the key to the Fire’s escape from near defeat.

WA Fury 6/35 (7 overs) vs ACT Meteors 1/36 (5.2 overs) - (T20 match)

ACT won the toss and with the WACA pitch shielded from the sun with overcast conditions, ACT made use of the conditions. 

With the ball seaming around they had immediate success as they had the Fury 4-23 off 5.3 overs. 

The main wicket taker surprisingly on the WACA wicket was an off-spinner, Moylan picking up four wickets off her three overs.

With that the skies opened up and the game was delayed for a while. 

Finally there was a break but the Fury's innings finished at 6-35 and the revised total was 33 runs, care of the Duckworth-Lewis Method. 

It didn't take long for the Meteors to knock off the runs with Hungerford (19 off 13) the only batter to reach double figures chasing a small total.  

QLD Fire 6/351 vs TAS Roar 9/213 - (50 over match)

With the first longer format match being played for the season the Fire did not hesitate to bat first, and boy did they make use of the Allan Border Field pitch. 

Captain Jodie Fields led the way to post a fantastic 150 runs, which is her own highest score, as well as the highest Fire individual score. 

Fields was well supported by Hollis (68 runs) and Jonassen (54 runs) who cleared the boundary four times in her short yet eventful innings. 

The Roar managed to bowl all bowlers except the keeper and Hall, with only Silva and Thompson the only multiple wicket takers.

With a record total to chase down the Roar again didn't start very well as it looked like they were all about occupying the crease. 

Even then they lost wickets regularly until the birthday girl Hall and Captain Veronica Pyke managed to put together a solid partnership of 91 runs. 

Despite the match all but gone for the Roar there was another game within a game that was taking place with The Fire trying to deny Hall her first century. 

Barsby the party pooper bowling Hall for 95 runs to pick up her third wicket for the game.

WA Fury 8/228 vs ACT Meteors 10/182 (43.5 overs) - (50 over match)

ACT again chose to bowl first but did not have the same luck as they did on the previous day. 

Instead the Fury kept building their innings slowly with Kate Blackwell (Alex's identical twin) the main stayer ending up with 63 runs. 

She was well supported by Bolton (38) and Graham (35) that gave the Fury a respectable total of 228 runs off their 50 overs. 

Spinners again were the main wicket-takers for the Meteors with Moylan (3-54) and Dick (2-37) keeping the Fury honest.

Chasing a very gettable total the Meteors start wasn't the best being 3-38 very early in the piece. 

Kris Britt (59 runs) began to rebuild their total with Waetford (41 runs), but when both fell to spin there was no final hurrah from the lower order. Bolton (3-42) and Holmes (2-23) were the key wicket-takers.

QLD Fire 6/177 vs TAS Roar 9/118 - (T20 match)

With the Fire's confidence up all batters went about hitting the ball to all parts of the ground in their final match for the weekend, with most going at a strike-rate of 130+, to pose their highest score in the WT20 format. 

Mooney (38 runs off 28 balls) and Bulow (36 runs off 20 balls) were the main contributors. 

Both Pyke and Da Costa picked up two wickets a piece but also went for more than nine runs per over as the Roar found it difficult to contain them.

Tassie had a good start but again no partnerships were formed with Hall (29 runs off 20) the only batter to score over 20 runs. 

The old master, Pike (2-10 off four overs) and the young hand Barsby (2-18 off four overs) were the most economical and successful Fire bowlers.

WA Fury 1/153 (18.4 over) vs ACT Meteors 5/150 - (T20 match)

The final match for the weekend was a thriller with ACT deciding to make use of the pitch first and did so well posting 150 runs off their 20 overs. 

Wright (55 runs off 46) and Britt (32 runs off 21) put together a 59 run partnership to set up their innings. 

King was the only WA bowler to pick up two wickets as they used eight bowlers throughout the short innings.

It was going to take a great chase to win the match and the Fury couldn't have asked for a better start with their captain Bolton and Wallace putting on over a hundred partnership for the first wicket. 

Their 131 runs also broke the WT20 record for the first wicket and despite Wallace being dismissed for 35 runs,that only allowed Tsukigawa to come in and hit a four and six to finish the match. 

By doing so, Tsukigawa claimed the win, but denied Bolton reaching a maiden T20 century as she ended with 97 runs off 66 balls that included ten fours.

Player of the Round

After each weekend of cricket, I will have the difficult task of trying to name the player of the round. 

It is almost like I have a selectors hat on, therefore, to make it a little easier on myself we will do a top three count down, so;

Third place has to go to Jodie Fields for her amazing score of 150 runs against the Roar in the WNCL match. Jodie will now try and go for the hat-trick in centuries in her next WNCL match having made a century in last year’s WNCL final.

Second place winner is Mel Bulow.  She was the most consistent batter of the weekend, who has also adopted a new role in her team.  Mel finished the weekend with 116 runs and also played a crucial part to the team’s first victory of the weekend.

AND THE WINNER IS

First place would have to go to captain courageous Nicole Bolton, whose individual score of 97* to set up the victory in the last T20 match was crucial. Throughout the weekend she scored 153 runs and took three wickets with her developing off-spin.

Rookie of the Round

Having just spent some time in the off-season travelling with the Commonwealth Banks Southern Stars, Jemma Barsby has clearly had enough of watching cricket and when it was her time to get out there she was highly successful.

Throughout the weekend she picked up five wickets and also opened the bowling during the first WT20 match.

Strongest Contender so far

Without a doubt the Queensland Fire team have shown once their nerves are out of the way they are able to dominate sides and play with the freedom that would excite most spectators of the game. 

Even though their first match was a lot tighter than what they would have expected, their coach and the players will gain a lot of confidence that they were able to come away with the win in a tight contest.

Bye The Way

In the first WNCL fixture for the season, the Allan Border Field wicket was able to produce 564 runs in a day’s play. 

The Fire posted their highest total since the inception of the WNCL with 6-351, but also the Roar were just shy of breaking their highest total despite losing by 138 runs. 

They only required another 10 runs to beat their highest total of 223 runs.

Special mention also to Mel Bulow who became the first Queensland player to reach the milestone of scoring 1000 runs in WT20 cricket. 

It is credit to Mel’s talent and also shows that an older player, who even had a season break, can still have an impact in the shorter format of the match. 

You certainly don't need youth on your side and all the funky shots to be successful in T20 cricket.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.
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