NSW Breakers claim record 18th WNCL title
Rene Farrell sliced through the Queensland top order as NSW cruised to victory to continue their dominance in the 50-over format
3 December 2016, 03:59 PM AEST
Scorecard: Queensland all out for 119 off 41.1 overs (J.Barsby 30, R.Farrell 3-20) defeated by New South Wales 1-123 off 24 overs (Healy 56no, Blackwell 36no) by nine wickets at Allan Border Field.
The champions: The NSW Breakers have now won an incredible 18 of the 21 Women's National Cricket League titles contested, making them one of the most dominant teams in Australian domestic sport. Underlining their dominance, the Breakers have qualified for all 21 WNCL deciders, losing just three of them. The Fire, on the other hand, have now participated in four WNCL finals and have lost all four, all to NSW.
The finish: With the scoreboard showing six runs required to win in the 24th over, Alyssa Healy smashed Delissa Kimmince over the rope and the NSW players started to celebrate yet another title. But a quick check from the match officials with the official scorers determined that Healy's strike had in fact leveled the scores, meaning the players had to reset and Healy faced up again. She wasted little time, smashing Kimmince down the ground again and the celebrations could finally begin in earnest.
The perfect start: Having lost the toss, the Breakers could not have asked for a better start with Rene Farrell dismissing in-form opener Beth Mooney from the first ball of the match.
The hero: Rene Farrell's opening burst of 3-20 from seven overs, including three maidens, laid the foundation for NSW. Under gloomy skies, Farrell bowled an immaculate length as she troubled the Queensland top order on a regular basis. The Southern Stars opening bowler produced a lovely away swinger to have Beth Mooney caught in the cordon from the very first ball of the match. She then had the dangerous-looking Jess Jonassen (21 from 20 balls) caught in the slips before trapping Grace Harris for a duck to leave Queensland back-peddling at 4-40.
The support act: Alyssa Healy ensured there were no nerves as the Breakers chased down a target of 120 with ease. The keeper-batter showed her intent right from outset by hitting the ball over the top with some firm drives. Healy was particularly severe on anything short as she dispatched anything loose to the boundary to keep the Fire bowlers under pressure at all times.
The turning point: Delissa Kimmince and Jemma Barsby had added 53 runs for the fifth wicket and it looked like the pair could take the Fire to a competitive total. But left-arm spinner Maisy Gibson went through the defences of Kimmince to reduce the Fire to 5-93. It was a huge wicket for the Breakers as the Fire then lost their last five wickets for just 26 runs.
The fielding brilliance: The Breakers' fielders complemented their bowlers with some stunning fielding and catching to keep the Fire batters in check right from the outset. Rachael Haynes produced a direct hit while still on her knees to get rid of Kirby Short in the eighth over, captain Alex Blackwell took a fine catch diving forward to dismiss the innings top-scorer Jemma Barsby (30) before Nicole Carey produced another direct hit to run out Sammy-Jo Johnson for two. While the bowling was superb, the catching and the fielding was of the highest quality.
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