The ACT Meteors are on the board in season 2023–24 with an impressive display at home against NSW.
Skipper Katie Mack and allrounder Alisha Bates (playing in a new Number 4 position) guided the team to a four-wicket victory with 23 balls to spare over New South Wales at EPC Solar Park in Canberra.
The Meteors bowled the Breakers out for 243 off the last ball of their 50th over, the first time the ACT side has bowled a team out this summer. Carly Leeson took 3-32 from her 10 overs, while Holly Ferling, Grace Dignam, and Annie Wikman all took two wickets each.
In reply, the Meteors lost wicketkeeper-bat Grace Lyons in the first over, and were 2/41 when Paris Bowdler fell, before skipper Katie Mack (74 from 86) and allrounder Alisha Bates (66 from 71) added 122 for the third wicket – the first Meteors century stand this summer.
It was the Meteors’ first victory of the Women’s National Cricket League season, coming in their second last match of the tournament.
After putting the sixth-ranked Breakers in to bat first, the ACT’s pace attack made early inroads to leave the visitors wobbling at 4-85.
Holly Ferling bowled Tahlia Wilson (13) and had the in-form Anika Learoyd (1) caught cheaply, before Carly Leeson trapped England international Georgia Adams lbw for six and Saskia Horley caught on 17.
Claire Moore (61 off 96) steadied the NSW innings with a half-century and shared a crucial 77-run stand with Erin Burns (40) and after the pair were removed in quick succession, Hannah Darlington chimed in with 42 to steer the Breakers above 200.
In response Lauren Cheatle removed both Meteors openers cheaply, but that 122-run stand between captain Mack and Bates put the team back in control.
Alisha Bates, named Player of the Match, scored her first ever WNCL half century and went on to score a WNCL career-high knock of 66.
A late wobble saw both dismissed, but Wikman (21 off 26) and Grace Dignam (16no 21) ensured the Meteors walked away with their first points of the 2023–24 season.
The teams will meet again at EPC Solar Park on Thursday, the final match of the WNCL for the Meteors.
Article by cricket.com.au and Brett McKay