Unexpected move a 'breath of fresh air' for Stalenberg

What was initially a setback has turned into a blessing for new Tasmania batter Naomi Stalenberg

Naomi Stalenberg believes her shock axing from New South Wales’ contract list has turned into a blessing in disguise, following her debut for new state Tasmania.

The 26-year-old produced a player-of-the-match display in her second match as a Tiger, digging in for a fighting 47 in a difficult batting conditions on a wearing wicket, helping her team successfully chase South Australia’s 174.

Tasmania now have two wins from two outings this domestic 50-over season, a promising start after their difficult 2019-20 campaign that yielded the same number of victories from eight matches.

Stalenberg joined the Tigers during the off-season after being cut by the NSW Breakers following seven seasons with the state, and despite her most productive season with the bat that yielded a career-best 255 runs in nine games.

Tasmania bowlers set up win to keep Tigers unbeaten

The top-order batter, who has a solitary T20I appearance for Australia in 2017 to her name, now believes packing up her life and taking the Spirit of Tasmania across Bass Straight was one of the best things that could have happened.

"I’ve absolutely loved it, it’s been a really nice change," Stalenberg said following Friday’s game.

"Left the big smoke in Sydney and now I’ve had a fresh and new start in Hobart.

"I think it's been a bit of a blessing, moving to Hobart. It’s a much more relaxed lifestyle, there’s plenty of things to do and we’ve got a great team.

"It’s been good for my cricket."

Tasmania have been rejuvenated by a host of imports this season, with Stalenberg one of three key arrivals alongside allrounder Heather Graham, and former New Zealand wicketkeeper-batter Rachel Priest.

The right-hander said she had embraced the chance to learn from Tasmania coach Salliann Beams, who is in her third year at the helm of the Tigers after moving from her native England.

"My sweep shot is coming along, it’s just about patience and decision making with my batting," she said.

"Extra time in the middle is really lovely.

"It’s coming along and I just want to do my bit for the team, we’ve got a great group."

Stalenberg, who also moved from the Sydney Thunder to the Hobart Hurricanes in the Rebel WBBL, certainly did not have trouble spotting familiar faces after arriving in Tasmania; fellow former NSW Breakers Nicola Carey, Belinda Vakarewa, Maisy Gibson and a former Thunder teammate in Sam Bates had already made the move.

"It’s been great to have some familiar faces but to get to know the local faces as well," Stalenberg said.

Tasmania are next scheduled to host reigning title winners Western Australia.