Each opponent presented its own set of challenges with the first being our Abode Hotels ACT Meteors going up against was Queensland. With an opposition featuring a trio of Australian World Cup selections (Beth Mooney, Delissa Kimmince and Jess Jonassen), Queensland promised to be a significant hurdle.
The toss was won by Queensland and they elected to bowl. Their decision was quickly rewarded as they claimed the wickets of our two openers for a combined three runs. 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 – a score which would be our highest. 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 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 ACT in the fight but Jess Jonassen and Sammy-Jo Johnson closed out the game ending 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 as she was looking to accelerate. 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 the 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, January 21, and NSW on January 23 - both at Manuka. The last two opportunities to accumulate points will be against Western Australia on February 4 and Tasmania on the 6th. 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 ©
Erica Kershaw (VC)