WA end Breakers dynasty with maiden WNCL final win
Nicole Bolton starred with bat and ball to lead WA to a historic, 42-run win against the NSW Breakers in the WNCL Final at North Sydney Oval
16 February 2020, 07:26 PM AEST
A brilliant all-round display from Nicole Bolton has led Western Australia to victory in the final of the Women’s National Cricket League, breaking a New South Wales dynasty that has seen them capture 21 of the past 24 titles.
It’s the first time in the competition’s 24-year history that Western Australia have won the title, though they lifted the Ruth Preddy Cup in the season of 1986-1987 under the previous Australian Women’s Cricket Championship format.
New South Wales, who took the field on Sunday in the absence of Australian superstars Alyssa Healy, Rachael Haynes and Ashleigh Gardner, have won the past three WNCL titles.
Bolton, crowned Player of the Tournament and Player of the Final, top-scored with a crucial 67 before starring with the ball, returning figures of 3-34 from her 10 overs.
While unable to finish her career on a winning note, retiring NSW legend Rene Farrell, put in an impressive individual performance in her final match of competitive cricket before being chaired off by teammates.
Farrell, who finished as the competition’s leading wicket-taker, handed NSW a dream start, striking twice in her first two overs of the day to remove WA captain Chloe Piparo and No.3 batter Heather Graham.
Allrounder Bolton, who has 55 international matches of experience under her belt, joined Ash Day to put on a crucial 56-run stand to steady the Western Australians.
A brilliant piece of bowling from leg-spinner Rachel Trenaman had Day stumped in the 17th over for 32, making way for Mathilda Carmichael (26) who combined with Bolton for a further 64 runs.
Bolton was eventually bowled on 67 by Farrell in the 39th over.
A destructive spell from Stella Campbell (3-55), one of seven teenagers in the NSW squad, took care of the Western Australian middle order with Carmichael, Megan Banting (22) and Amy Edgar (21) all dismissed by the 17-year-old quick.
Western Australia’s ninth wicket fell at the hands of Farrell, giving the outgoing fast bowler figures of 4-33 in her send-off game.
In pursuit of WA’s 231, teenagers Trenaman and Maddy Darke combined for a handy 64-run opening stand.
It wasn’t until the 13th over that Heather Graham was able to get the breakthrough, trapping Trenaman in front for 37.
From that point, the experienced WA bowling unit ran rampant, taking regular wickets at the same time as restricting the NSW run rate.
Love this from WA! A mid-match guard of honour for retiring legend Rene Farrell #WNCLFinal pic.twitter.com/iDn1OY2T5Y— Rebel Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) February 16, 2020
Bolton 's 3-34 was complemented by Graham (3-40), and Emma King (3-28) as the trio prevented the NSW batters from forming any meaningful partnerships.
Farrell was greeted by a guard of honour as she walked out to bat at No.9 in the 39th over and savoured every minute of her final match at the elite level, striking a fighting 18 (32) before Piepa Cleary bowled her and sealed victory for WA.