The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars began their international season and preparations for next week’s series against India with a six-wicket victory over the Australian Under 21 team at Bankstown Oval in Sydney today.
Chasing the junior team’s 9-163, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars built upon Shelley Nitschke’s positive start to cruise to victory in the 37th over.
Nitschke’s unbeaten 57 (retired) from 71 balls was the cornerstone of the innings before Kate Blackwell and Sarah Edwards guided the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars to victory with an unbroken 34-run stand.
Earlier, Renee Melton (33) and Corinne Hall (34) were the best of the Australia Under 21 batters. The pair added 65 for the second wicket and looked comfortable at the crease before being dismissed in quick succession midway through the innings to hand the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars the advantage.
The junior team’s middle and lower order were not able to capitalise on the start provided by Melton and Hall as the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars attack kept a firm hold on the run rate.
Lisa Sthalekar (3-17) and Emma Sampson (2-17) were the best of the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars’ bowlers.
“We got exactly what we wanted out of today’s match. The bowlers had a good hit out and we were in the field for 50 overs which was good. Our fielding was sharp as well and the batters got an opportunity in the middle, so it was a successful day,” Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars captain, Karen Rolton, said.
“Everyone is really keen to get back into international cricket. It’s been a long off season, so we’re all just looking forward to getting out and playing matches for Australia again.
“India will be very tough next week. They’ve had a change of captain so that could make a real difference to their team. They did well at the last World Cup and although they were beaten by England earlier this year, I’m sure they will make it tough for us.”
The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars’ next match will be against Australia Under 21 on Monday. The match at Bankstown Oval will be a Twenty20 encounter starting at 2pm.
The Australia Under 21 team will play its next match on Sunday against India at Bradman Oval in Bowral. Originally scheduled as a Twenty20 fixture, the match has been changed to a 50-over game after the opening meeting between the teams on Wednesday was abandoned due to rain.
The first match in the Australia-India international series will be played next Tuesday (28 October) at Hurstville Oval in Sydney. It will be the first Twenty20 International played between the teams.
The following day, the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket Australia will launch the ICC Women’s World Cup, which will be played in Sydney, Newcastle, Canberra and Bowral from 7-22 March 2009.
The match schedule for the Australia-India international series and tour matches can be found on the Cricket Australia website, http://www.cricket.com.au/default.aspx?s=womens-fixtures.