The final round of the Victorian Premier Cricket Women's 1st & 2nd XI competition took place this weekend in pleasant conditions, while the Women's 3rd XI competition completed their season.
On Saturday, EMP hosted Box Hill in a game that could shape the make up of the Final Four. The visitors batted first and struggled for consistency, eventually being dismissed for 144. Extras (25) was top score for the Mustangs, while seven (7) of the 11 that batted scored between 12 and 19. For the Bombers, skipper Makinley Blows (4/29) was the pick of the bowlers, while Georgia Gall (2/28) and Milly Illingworth (2/33) also took wickets. In reply, the Bombers cantered home by 7 wickets thanks to knocks from Blows (61), Alyssa Humphries (36) and Nat Schilov (29*), with Mustangs skipper Dani Montague (1/11 off 7) providing some early pressure.
On Sunday, Minor Premiers Melbourne took on Plenty Valley at the Albert Ground. The visitors batted first and scored a competitive total of 170, thanks to a fighting half-century from Sophie Day (54), with Extras (30) and Jessie Hulett (23) in support. For the Demons, Anna O'Donnell (3/25) was the pick of the bowlers, with Elly Donald (2/19) and Ella Hayward (2/26) in support. In reply, the Demons made it 'no contest' with Rhiann O'Donnell (91*) continuing her strong form and skipper Teagan Parker (64*) guiding the side home without the loss of a wicket.
Dandenong hosted Carlton-Brunswick at Shepley Oval and the hosts batted first in this encounter. Tiana Atkinson (56) and skipper Nicole Faltum (52) batted well but there was little support outside of this and the Panthers finished at 8/187 off their overs, with Emily Byrne (4/36) the pick of the Strikers bowlers. In reply, the Strikers found themselves quickly at 3/24 and facing the knock-out punch when a successful counter-attack was launched by Nipuni Hansika (89*) and Eve Sheehan (72*), who not only re-established their sides chances but took them home to an upset win to finish their campaign on a high with a 7-wicket win. For the Panthers, Poppy Gardner (2/41) was the only bowler with multiple wickets.
Finally, the last match saw Ringwood host Prahran at Russell Lucas Oval. With the previous day's results now known, the equation for the Rams was simple: Win with a Bonus Point and play finals on Net Run Rate, Win with no Bonus Point would equal 5th by just one point. With this knowledge the Rams batted first and chalked up a massive 3/252 off their 50 overs, thanks to the unbeaten 176-run 4th wicket stand between skipper Una Raymond-Hoey (116*) and Laura Shaw (74*), while wickets were scarce for the True Blues with Maddison Heitlinger (1/37 off 9) the pick of the attack. The equation therefore became the following for the Rams to play Finals: Keep Prahran to a score of 201 or less to play Finals. Facing a daunting task, the True Blues were gallant and saw solid partnerships form but the wickets caught up and when the last wicket fell
they had scored 207, thereby denying the Rams their maiden opportunity at playing Finals cricket in the 1st XI competition. Jaide Anthony (37) led scorers for the visitors, with Merinda Hale (36), Samantha Dulvin (32) and Madeleine Huggins (28) all batting well, while Erin Carroll (3/34) and Bhavi Devchand (3/36) bowled well for the victors.
In the Women's Premier Thirds Final, Carlton-Brunswick defeated Dandenong at Greaves Reserve #4 by 90 runs in a match that had thrills and spills. The Strikers batted first and found themselves in trouble early at 4/21 before Nikita Chaudhary (51*) played a match-winning knock and put on partnerships of 47 for the 5th wicket with Grace Moyle (18) and 42 for the 6th wicket with Amelia Freeman (12). The Panthers did their best work in the field with the arm, with 3 of the 6 wickets coming from run outs. In reply, the Panthers' chase never got going with only Grace Lewis (10) and Extras (13) reaching double figures as the Panthers were rolled for just 36, while the Strikers were led with the ball by Chand Negi (3/10), Freeman (2/13) and Chantal Mason (2/4). Congratulations to the Carlton-Brunswick Strikers on winning this flag from 4th position on the ladder.
Details for next Sunday's Semi Finals for the Women's Premier 1sts & 2nds competitions are listed below (NOTE: Venues are TBC):
Women's Premier 1st XI:
Melbourne (1st) vs Box Hill (4th) - Albert Ground
EMP (2nd) vs Dandenong (3rd) - Aberfeldie Park
Women's Premier 2nd XI:
Melbourne (1st) vs Ringwood (4th) - Beaumaris SC North Oval
Box Hill (2nd) vs Dandenong (3rd) - Box Hill City Oval
Kookaburra Women's Premier Firsts One DayRound 14
EMP 3-146 (Blows 61 Humphries 36) def Box Hill 144 (Blows 4-29)
Melb 0-172 (R O'Donnell 91* Parker 64*) def Plenty Valley 170 (Day 54 A O'Donnell 3-25)
Ringwood 3(cc)-252 (Raymond-Hoey 116* Shaw 74*) def Prah 207 (Anthony 37 Hale 36 Dulvin 32 Carroll 3-34 Devchand 3-36)
Carl-Bruns 3-188 (Hansika 89* Sheehan 72*) def Dand 8(cc)-187 (Atkinson 56 Faltum 52 Byrne 4-36)
Kookaburra Women's Premier Seconds One Day
Box Hill 8-136 (Talekar 30no Harris 4-20) def EMP 9(cc)-135 (Dejong 4-24),
Melb 4-156 (Homberg 59no) def Plenty Valley 8(cc)-154 (Field 63no Kaur 32 Watson 4-21),
Dand 5(cc)-228 (Croft 88no Stansby 34no Senarathne 30) def Carl-Bruns 147 (Senarathne 3-26),
Ringwood 7(cc)-214 (Stevens 69) def Prah 106 (Loughnan 4-26), Kookaburra Women's Premier Thirds
Carl-Bruns 6(cc)-126 (Chaudhary 51no) def Dand 36 (Negi 3-10),