Once the Women’s Big Bash League concluded and our Meteors returned to Canberra, the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) season restarted with two matches against the Queensland Fire and NSW Breakers.
Queensland was always going to be a tough ask for the Abode Hotels ACT Meteors with the Fire featuring a trio of Australian World Cup selections – Beth Mooney, Delissa Kimmince and Jess Jonassen.
Queensland won the toss and elected to bowl. Their decision was quickly rewarded as they claimed the wickets of our two openers for a combined three runs. But Anna Lanning and Erin Osborne remained calm and were able to steady the ship, adding 63 together. Their productive partnership was cut short in the 21st over when Jemma Barsby had our skipper caught on 37 – our highest score for the match. Four balls later, Lanning was beaten by Grace Harris, leaving the Meteors with a lot of work left to do.
Queensland continued to bowl well, restricting the flow of runs and taking wickets consistently. The tail trio of Maitlan Brown (19*), Nicola Hancock (16) and Carly Leeson (13) gave the ACT some hope but our 10th wicket fell in the 45th over, ending our innings on 151.
With a low total, the Meteors needed to take wickets and Osborne did exactly that, running out the dangerous Beth Mooney before taking the wicket of Laura Harris. Hancock took two important catches and bowled Georgia Redmayne to keep us in the fight until Jess Jonassen and Sammy-Jo Johnson closed out the game, finishing on 45* and 40* respectively.
Against NSW it was a similar tale.
The Breakers won the toss and sent the Meteors into bat. After an opening stand of 18, Koski and Lanning lost their wickets in consecutive balls at the hands of Rene Farrell. Once again it was Osborne who regained control for the Meteors, combining with Carly Leeson (34) before falling on 55 just as she was looking to hit the accelerator. Batting with the tail, Sarah Coyte scored a valuable 28 runs in her debut for the Meteors, helping reach a total of 177.
The Meteors bowling attack started strong, reducing NSW to 5/37. This brought Phoebe Litchfield to the crease and, unfortunately for ACT, she never left, taking NSW to victory with an unbeaten 82.
This leaves the Meteors in sixth position on the ladder on eight points. NSW’s win took them to the top of the table on 13 points. The middle of the ladder is contested ground, with third through to sixth all having two wins and two losses. Queensland and Victoria occupy three and four, helped by bonus points accumulated during their wins.
The home straight for ACT is exactly that: home. With two games at Manuka Oval and two at Phillip Oval, the Meteors are hoping the home advantage will help them bounce back against Queensland tomorrow (21 January) and NSW (23 January). Both games will be held at Manuka.
The last two opportunities to accumulate points will be against Western Australia (4 February) and Tasmania (6 February). The Meteors will need to win at least three of the last four to finish in the top two and compete in the final.
January 21 ACT v QLD Squad:
- Erin Osborne (C)
- Erica Kershaw (VC)
- Katie Mack
- Anna Lanning
- Claire Koski
- Sarah Coyte
- Carly Leeson
- Zoe Cooke
- Maitlan Brown
- Nicola Hancock
- Amy Yates
- Maddie Penna
- Tilly Lugg.
- Tuesday, 21 January – ACT v QLD, 10:00 am at Manuka Oval
- Thursday, 23 January – ACT v NSW, 10:00 am at Manuka Oval.
Tickets are not required for any Abode Hotels ACT Meteors matches.