It’s taken 24 seasons but Western Australia are finally celebrating a women’s national cricket league title.
WA scored a comfortable 42-run victory over the defending champion NSW Breakers in the final at North Sydney Oval on Sunday.
Chasing 231, the hosts were dismissed for 189 with one ball to spare from their 50 overs.
It was the third time the side from the west had made the decider, with the previous occasion against the Breakers two seasons ago ending in a 51-run defeat.
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Introducing your 2019-20 WNCL CHAMPIONS! ????#WESTISBEST pic.twitter.com/PV7fa278wR
Absolutely rapt for @WACA_Cricket women. Rare in any event to take the #WNCL title off NSW but especially sweet to break through for the first title. Huge moment in WA cricket.
Western Australia are the Australian national womens cricket champions for the first time in 33 years. #WNCL pic.twitter.com/C6f8MfhI0p
WA vice-captain Nicole Bolton was named player of the match for her 67 from 107 balls, the only half century of the match, and 3/34 with her off spin. As the leading run-scorer and third-highest wicket-taker, Bolton was also named WNCL Player of the Season.
She finished the tournament with 436 at an average of 48.44, becoming the first WA player ever to pass 400 runs in a summer, and took 16 wickets.
“I’m really proud of this group,” Bolton said.
“We’ve worked really hard for this. Everyone played their role and I’m just excited we were able to get the job done today.
“It’s something that’s been a really long time coming and now we’re part of this group we’ve got history together and I think that’s really special.”
A thorough all-round display from Nicole Bolton in the final powered Western Australia to their maiden WNCL title ???? pic.twitter.com/8DgSt94pZo
Breakers captain Lisa Griffith was proud of the way her young side was able to finish on top of the ladder and host the final.
“We’ve had seven debutants for NSW this season,” Griffith said.
“It was their first season for NSW let alone their first final. I thought they did an unreal job out there today. It’s a real credit to them.
“We always have tough games against WA. They always bring their best game and they outclassed us today so it was a real credit to them, well done.”
Nicole Bolton finished as the tournament’s highest run scorerSource:AAP
Retiring NSW fast bowler Rene Farrell finished with season-best figures of 4/33 from 10 overs including Western Australia captain Chloe Piparo with the second ball of the match.
She followed Piparo’s wicket with that of Australian representative all-rounder Heather Graham for four, and WA were 2/8 in the third over. Her third wicket was Bolton, also bowled.
Farrell was the leading wicket taker with 21 at an average of 13.09. WA spinner Emma King was second with 18 wickets after claiming 3/28 from her 10 overs during the final.
It was King who halted the Breakers’ momentum after a solid start from teenagers Rachel Trenaman (37) and wicketkeeper-batter Maddy Darke (36), who, shared a 64-run opening stand.
Graham also picked up 3/40 with her medium pace.
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