The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars escaped a determined challenge by Australia Under 21 to win their Twenty20 clash by six runs at Bankstown Oval this afternoon.
Chasing the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars’ 1-162, Australia Under 21 fell just short of the victory target to finish at 5-156 despite Jessica Cameron’s entertaining 79 not out from 55 balls.
Two early wickets to Delissa Kimmince had Australia Under 21 under pressure in their run chase before Elyse Villani and Cameron seized control with a fourth-wicket partnership that brought the junior team back into the match.
The Victorian teenagers added 98 before an unfortunate mix-up resulted in Villani’s run out for 40 off a no-ball in the 17th over. Villani’s departure swung the momentum of the match and the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars took advantage with some tight bowling in the closing overs.
Kimmince was the pick of the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars bowlers with 2-29 while Emma Sampson bowled a tidy final over to finish with 0-25.
Shelley Nitschke again led the batting charge for the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars with the opener scoring a quickfire 56 from 36 balls.
Nitschke and Alex Blackwell (37 from 41 balls) batting confidently before they both chose to retire to give batters lower down the order time at the crease before tomorrow’s Twenty20 match against India.
Captain Karen Rolton (23 from 18), Sthalaker (19 not out from 17) and Lauren Ebsary (15 not out from 8) continued to advance the score at a steady rate with the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars posting 1-162 from their 20 overs.
“We’ve probably gave them a little bit too much today with our bowling and will need to tighten up against India tomorrow. Our batting is going along well, but we will need to keep that consistency because it’s been an area that we we’ve been working on,” Nitschke said.
"I’m happy with two half centuries in a row but the big games start tomorrow so hopefully I can carry the form through and keep it going.
“Over the past two matches I’ve been trying to rotate the strike and work on things I’ve been practicing in the off season. It was nice to be able to have a bit of time in the middle to do that.
“India are going to be tough. They had two good games over the weekend against the junior girls and to have a close game and a bit of pressure on our bowling and fielding can only be good for us going into the series.”
Players and officials from both teams wore pink ribbons during the match to show their support for breast cancer research. It is part of Cricket Australia’s wider “Cricket Cares” initiative which is designed to encourage Australian cricket at all levels to return something to the community. At a national level, CA’s Cricket Cares program is partnering with the Movember Foundation and with the McGrath Foundation in 2008-09 to encourage greater awareness of and support for male and female health issues which affect so many in the community.
After warm-up matches last Friday and today, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars will start their series against India at Hurstville Oval. The first match of the series will be a Twenty20 International, the first-ever between the teams.
Following tomorrow’s match, the top two ranked teams in women’s cricket will play five-one day internationals in Sydney and Canberra.
During the series, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars will also be meeting fans and collecting donations for the McGrath Foundation.
Match Schedule – Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v India
Tuesday 28 October: Hurtsville Oval, 2pm (Twenty20)
Friday 31 October: Hurstville Oval, 10am (One-Day International – ODI)
Saturday 1 November: SCG, 10am (ODI)
Wednesday 5 November: North Sydney Oval, 10am (ODI)
Saturday 8 November: Manuka Oval, 10am (ODI)
Sunday 9 November: Manuka Oval, 10am (ODI)