January 8, 2003

Fire face must win series

The Konica Queensland Fire face a must-win series against Victoria this weekend if they are to feature in this season's Women's National Cricket League Finals.

Queensland is fourth coming into the final round of matches but could snatch a spot in the Final later this month if they can win both of their games against second-placed Victoria in Geelong this weekend.

Third-placed NSW play the winless Western Fury and could potentially finish ahead of current competition leaders Southern Scorpions.

The Queensland selectors have omitted Jodie Purves from the team and recalled allrounder Kelly Klibbe in the only change to the team that lost both of its matches to NSW before Christmas.

Queensland will hope that the Konica Queensland Under-19 trio of Kasee Marxsen, Belinda Matheson and Kirsten Pike will bring with them some of the form they have displayed at the Australian Under-19 championships in Canberra this week.

The unbeaten Queensland combination will meet NSW in the Final tomorrow, with Marxsen, Matheson and Pike all producing outstanding performances so far in the championships.

Marxsen has scored 261 runs at 65.25, including a championship record 126 off 118 balls, while off-spinner Matheson and pace bowler Pike are among the leading wicket-takers for Queensland.

This weekend also represents one of the last chances for the Fire players to press their representative claims with the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars team and Shooting Stars Youth teams to be named after the WNCL Finals from January 17-19.

The Southern Stars will play a four-way international series in New Zealand at the end of January and next month featuring New Zealand, England, India and Australia.

Australia will then play England in an Ashes Test series, with the First Test being held at the Gabba from February 15-18.

Konica Queensland Fire v Victorian Spirit, Geelong, January 11, 12: Julia Price (c), Belinda Matheson, Melissa Bulow, Joanne Broadbent, Sally Cooper, Tricia Brown, Kasee Marxsen, Megan White, Kelly Klibbe, Cindy Kross, Renee Lee, Kristen Pike. Coach: Richard McInnes.