The first two matches of the day were the semi-finals of the Female Pathway, to see who would face off in the final later that evening.
The first semi-final kicked off at 9AM, and saw the Northern Frenzy take on the Western Crash. The Frenzy battled their way through the innings, with April Wells top scoring opening the batting with 31, while Sophie Gould scored 28 not out from first drop. With none of the Frenzy able to find the fluency to boost their run rate late on they reached the end of the 20th over just five wickets down but with only 89 runs on the board.
It took the Crash just 6.4 overs to chase down the Frenzy total, thanks largely to some blistering strokeplay from Grace Lyons who smashed 44 off just 21 balls with 8 boundaries. In a fantastic show of sportsmanship, the two teams agreed to keep the game going to allow both sides to execute and display their skills.
With the Crash having secured their place in the Grand Final in emphatic style, attention turned to the second semi, between the Southern Pride and the Eastern Fever. Fever skipper Alisa Clark’s decision to bat after winning the toss was vindicated by opening batter Stella Wilde, who raised her bat for a half century before being dismissed by Mia Phelps for 52 off just 51 balls. The Crash made their way to a competitive 123, with Wilde supported by a run-a-ball 25 from Kallie Gumm.
Not to be outdone, the Pride openers Mia Phelps (who also opened the bowling) and Caitlin Galleano put on 32 before Phelps was dismissed. Unfortunately for the Crash, this brought Shri Sumanaweera to the crease and also brought on and 82-run match-winning partnership that saw the Pride chase down the target in 16 overs.
The Female Pathway players were then able to take a pause, either to reflect on missed opportunities or to prepare for the next challenge, while the third and final match of the North v South All Stars Series took centre stage.
The Northside All Stars had already secured a winning 2-0 series lead, but the South Side All Stars were hoping to put out a performance that matched their Pride title.
Northside skipper Rhys Healy won the toss and elected to bat, but Dean Solway took the early wicket of Eric Bell and wickets continued to fall at regular intervals thereafter. Nick Broes, Bell’s opening partner, batted promisingly for 34 runs off 35 balls but could do little as he kept losing partners at the other end, with wickets falling as the scorecard read 11, 22, 30, 31 – his own wicket falling to leave the score at 5/56. Some lower order hitting from Bradley Thomas and exciting prospect Hanno Jacobs (33 and 35 respectively) dragged the Northside total to some respectability, the innings finishing at 6/128.
Dean Solway returned to open the batting with opening partner and captain Tyler Van Luin and were able to do exactly what their opponents could not – put together a significant partnership. When the first wicket fell, Van Luin for 44, there were already 80 runs on the board. This took significant pressure off the middle order, who all contributed to chase the total down in 18.5 overs.
The final series scoreline of 2-1 was befitting what was a competitive series. The John Cope Medal, awarded to the player of the series, went to Northside’s Scott Murn, who was dismissed only once in the three matches. The medal was well deserved for a player who scored 108 runs with a best of 89*, averaged 108 while striking at 142.1, and took the most outfield catches of any player too.
As the sun started to set over EPC Solar Park, the Crash and the Pride returned to the middle for the final match of the day: The Female Bathway Grand Final.
Southern Pride Captain Kelly Rowlings won the toss and elected to bowl, meaning her side would be chasing under lights later in the evening. When her opening bowlers Mia Phelps and Clare Levings went wicketless in their opening spells, Rowlings must have questioned her decision to bowl – but it took Shri Sumanaweera just 3 balls, bowling first change, to break the partnership with 37 on the board. From there on it was the Amy Jason-Jones and Grace Lyons show, the two batters attacking the Pride in some style. Jason-Jones finished with 52 off just 36 balls, and Grace Lyons was the last batter out with 35, leaving the innings complete at 4/124 after the twenty overs – one run more than the total that won them their spot in the final.
By the time the Pride openers walked out to bat, the lights were well and truly shining at EPC Solar Park. Caitlin Galeano and Mia Phelps set about their work with impressive efficiency: the former taking on the attacking role while Phelps provided the ballast. They put on an opening stand of 84, and Galeano was again the star, recording her second half-century of the day – an impressive feat for the wicket keeper and Emerging Meteor.
Though the Crash were able to bowl well enough to take the game deep, in truth the Pride were ahead at all stages. When Phelps was dismissed by Montefiore Gardner, it brought Clare Levings to the middle for the final stages of the chase. Both Levings and Galeano would remain unbeaten, chasing down the last of the remaining 41 runs in the last over – a deserved win for captain Kelly Rowlings, her Pride team and for Caitlin Galeano who undoubtedly seized the opportunity to showcase her skill.
Cricket ACT would like to offer our congratulations to everyone who took part in the CDC Bash, from day one to Finals Day, and especially to the winners. We would also like to thank everyone who contributed to making the day such a success and are proud to have such high quality cricketers in our region.