The Abode Hotels ACT Meteors have won a historic fourth round-match of the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL), defeating defending champions the Breezair SA Scorpions by 33 runs. The local side battled all the elements in securing their victory, attributing the crowd’s energy in their home game at Manuka Oval as their main motivation for their stellar performance.
Under greying skies but with a carnival atmosphere around the ground, the Meteors elected to bat first after winning the toss, a tactic that had previously delivered mixed results.
The early run out of an inform Claire Koski, followed by the subsequent dismissals of captain Kris Britt and Katie Mack after some tight bowling saw the focus of the Meteors batting line up needing to consolidate.
A 36 run partnership between Erin Osborne and Angela Reakes seemed to have the Meteors back in control until the return to the bowling crease of Southern Stars all-rounder, Sarah Coyte, soon saw this vital partnership broken.
Top scorer of the match, Reakes, together with Gunnedah's own Emily Leys then took the score to 111 with some valiant slogs, before Coyte again was in the action taking a catch in slips to remove a dangerous Reakes, just as she and Leys were starting to accelerate the run rate. Wickets then fell in in regular succession to see the Meteors bowled out for 133 inside 40 overs.
As she has done with great consistency throughout the League, Nicole Goodwin saw the Meteors off to the best possible start with the wicket of an often deadly Scorpions opener, Tegan McPharlin, out LBW in the first over of the inning. This early breakthrough lit up the Meteors and saw their fielding put enormous pressure on the Scorpions as they targeted what seemed a low total to achieve victory.
Enter Erin Osborne. The off spinner stepped up and showed the crowd why she is a Southern Star as she took 4 quick wickets in an inspired spell of 4/24 including 4 maidens to put all the game's pressure on the Scorpion's tail. Even the face painters stopped their work to watch the action unfolding. Her game changing performance shone in the eyes of both the players and the game officials, awarding her player of the match.
At the other end, spin continued to weave the Meteors’ control over the match with Sam Bates (2/33 from 10) and Angela Reakes (1/15 from 7) also playing a significant impact on the match's outcome. When Goodwin (3/12 from 3.5) returned for her second spell, she showed why she remains one of the game’s best death bowlers by taking the final two wickets required and sealed an incredible 33 run victory to the Meteors.
The team will now recuperate at home until their final carnival weekend of the WNCL, taking on the NSW Lendlease Breakers and The Konica Minolta Queensland Fire on the 18th and 20th of November.