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Finals on the line as WNCL returns

The stars of the WBBL have swapped the T20s for 50-overs as they prepare to go into battle for their states

Finals berths and international selection will be on the line when the final round of the Women’s National Cricket League gets underway on Friday.

Reigning champions NSW Breakers head into the final round well-poised to defend their title, sitting unbeaten on top of the table on 20 points after four matches.

Trailing them are Western Fury, sitting second on 13 points, followed by Queensland Fire (11), South Australia (10) and ACT Meteors (9).

Rounding out the table are Victoria (4) and Tasmania (0).

Bonus points and net run rate will likely come into the battle for the final, which will see the top two teams play off for the Ruth Preddey Cup on February 24.

With Australian selectors to meet early next week to decide the ODI and T20I squads for next month’s tour of India, the weekend’s matches also present players with their final chance to push their credentials.

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While Australia captain Meg Lanning won’t make her return from injury for the Spirit this weekend, opting to take a little longer with her recovery from shoulder surgery, a host of Australian stars will be on display.

The NSW Breakers field a star-studded XI including Australia vice-captain Alex Blackwell, Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy, Rachael Haynes, Sarah Aley and Belinda Vakarewa.

Elyse Villani and Nicole Bolton will turn out of the Fury, while South Australia count Megan Schutt, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Ashleigh Gardner and Tahlia McGrath among their ranks.

Beth Mooney and Jess Jonassen are aiming to carry their WBBL form into the 50-over format for the Fire, while Kristen Beams will skipper the Spirit.

The carnival-style set-up of the WNCL will see matches played in Brisbane and Hobart across three days.

Friday’s action will see NSW and Tasmania play at Hobart’s Lindisfarne Oval, while South Australia and ACT will meet at nearby Kingston Oval.

In Brisbane, Queensland and Victoria will play at Allan Border Field.

Victoria are in action again on Saturday, taking on Western Australia at AB Field, before a Sunday triple-header sees Tasmania play ACT (Kingston), NSW play South Australia (Lindisfarne) and Queensland take on Western Australia (AB Field).

Squads

Abode Hotels ACT Meteors squad: Samantha Bates, Emily Leys, Erin Osborne (c), Erin Burns, Nicole Goodwin, Clara Iemma, Angela Reakes, Katie Mack, Claire Koski, Nicola Hancock, Maitlan Brown, Hayley Jensen, Erica Kershaw

Lendlease NSW Breakers squad: Alex Blackwell ©, Ellyse Perry, Sarah Aley, Nicola Carey, Rene Farrell, Maisy Gibson, Lisa Griffith, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Lauren Smith, Naomi Stalenberg, Belinda Vakarewa, Rachel Trenaman

Queensland squad: Kirby Short (c), Beth Mooney, Grace Harris, Delissa Kimmince, Jess Jonassen, Laura Harris, Tess Cooper, Jemma Barsby, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Georgia Prestwidge, Holly Ferling, Courtney Hill, Josie Dooley

South Australia squad: Tegan McPharlin (c) (wk), Samantha Betts, Sophie Devine, Sarah Lowe, Ashleigh Gardner, Tahlia McGrath, Bridget Patterson, Brittany Perry, Ellie Falconer, Alexandra Price, Tabatha Saville, Megan Schutt, Amanda Wellington

Tasmania squad: Brooke Hepbrun, Corinne Hall, Stefanie Daffara, Emily Divin, Erin Fazackerley, Isobel Joyce, Meg Phillips, Veronica Pyke, Celeste Raack, Georgia Redmayne, Emma Thompson, Courtney Webb, Laura Wright

VicSpirit squad: Kristen Beams (c), Makinley Blows, Nicole Faltum, Emma Inglis, Alana King, Anna Lanning, Sophie Molineux, Rhiann O’Donnell, Chloe Rafferty, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham

Alcohol. Think Again WA squad: TBA