A clinical century from Rachael Haynes has helped steer the NSW LendLease Breakers home for a six wicket win and a bonus point against Queensland in the first WNCL game of the season.
NSW captain Alex Blackwell won the toss and elected to field against the Konica Minolta Queensland Fire on an overcast morning at Blacktown International Sports Park.
Despite a four off the first delivery of the game, the opening fast bowling pair of Rene Farrell and Ellyse Perry combined well to squeeze Queensland in the opening overs. Queensland openers Beth Mooney and Kirby Short managed to weather the onslaught and went on to build a solid partnership of 111 before Nicola Carey got the breakthrough, dismissing Short for 53.
Belinda Vakarewa then stepped up to take a stunning catch to dismiss the dangerous Mooney (73) off a ball by new Breaker Mikayla Hinkley.
Carey added two more athletic catches as wickets from Perry (3-37), Lauren Smith (2-40) and Farrell (2-32) left Queensland all out for 225 after 49 overs.
The NSW innings didn’t start smoothly, losing the key wickets of Alyssa Healy (5) and Alex Blackwell (6) in quick succession. However Haynes (103*) held firm putting on a dazzling batting display and building key partnerships: first with Perry (17), then with Carey (25) and Naomi Stalenberg (41*).
Alchol.Think Again Western Fury 4-323 defeated SA Scorpions 302 by 21 runs
In Adelaide, Australia internationals Elyse Villani (139 off 103 balls) and Nicole Bolton (125 not out off 130) launched Western Australia’s 50-over tournament in emphatic fashion, steering the state to its second highest WNCL total of 4-323.
Villani won the toss for WA and elected to bat, with the visitors imposing themselves in an important early showing to set SA a total that simply proved too great to overcome.
It was only the second time that two WA players have hit a century in the same WNCL innings and underpinned a dominating opening fixture for the Alcohol.Think Again Western Fury, which lost opener Chloe Piparo for 25 in the 12th over before Bolton and Villani came together.
It was not until the final 10 overs, when WA discarded caution in a bid to push their tally that the SA Scorpions began making breakthroughs, with Samantha Betts’ (2-66) bowling Villani and removing England import Amy Jones for one.
Fury bowler Piepa Cleary (4-57) dismissed both openers early in the run chase, first trapping Bridget Patterson for three, then bowling Tegan McPharlin for four to have the hosts 2-17.
The Scorpions attempted rebuild was halted at 3-44 when England international Kate Cross (2-47) had Tahlia McGrath lbw for 20, followed by Sophie Devine exiting for 36 in the same way a short time later to Graham.
A superb maiden century by Amanda Wellington (116), complemented by 53 from Tabatha Saville took the Scorpions within striking distance late in the day at Adelaide Oval No. 2.
However, the last four wickets fell quickly in the late chase for runs, with SA dismissed for 302 in the 49th over.
ACT Meteors 203 beat Victoria 7-173 by 30 runs
Dane van Niekerk shone in her first game for the Abode Hotels ACT Meteors, hitting 63 from 74 balls to help lead her new side to victory against Victoria.
Victoria skipper Kristen Beams opted to bowl on a sunny afternoon at Manuka Oval and ACT openers Katie Mack and Hayley Jensen put on 42 runs before Jensen was caught mid-on for Molly Strano's first wicket.
It was the breakthrough Victoria needed, with Marizanne Kapp (4) and Mack (22) falling shortly after, leaving the ACT 3-56.
Erin Osborne and Angela Reakes rebuilt until the former became Alana King's first victim, sparking another domino effect, with Reakes (13) and Burns (13) soon falling.
The partnership of van Niekerk and Claire Koski, 69, put the Meteors innings back on track to set up the final total of 203.
Kapp, the world's No.1 ranked bowler, opened the attack but it was South Africa teammate van Niekerk who broke the opening partnership of Sophie Molineux (50) and Makinley Blows (12).
Left-arm orthodox Sam Bates pulled off a spectacular caught and bowled to dismiss Emma Inglis (20) while some excellent fielding from Angela Reakes ran out Georgia Wareham to break open the Victorian innings.
Wickets from van Niekerk (3-31), Hancock (2-30) and Bates (1-20) left Victoria 7-173 after fifty overs as the ACT won by 30 runs.