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February 12, 2005
Victoria 5 for 72 beat New South Wales 71 (Smith 4-10) by 5 wickets - best-of-three series level at 1-1
Victoria Spirit levelled the best-of-three finals series in a low-scoring encounter at Sydney's Bankstown Oval. First they bowled the New South Wales Breakers out for 71, then crept to their target in 39.1 overs, with five wickets to spare.
On a difficult pitch only three players managed to reach double figures in NSW's innings - Lisa Keightley and Alexandra Blackwell, who both made 13, and Sarah Andrews, who top-scored with 19. Clea Smith took 4 for 10 in her ten overs, and Jodie Dean also conceded just ten runs in ten overs as NSW found scoring almost impossible. There were also three run-outs.
Victoria weren't much quicker, but reached their small target in the end. Belinda Clark made 20 to steady the ship after two early wickets went down, but a mid-innings wobble in which Louise Broadfoot and Emily McIntyre both departed for ducks jangled the nerves. But the wise old head of Cathryn Fitzpatrick (12 not out) and Kelly Applebee (27 not out) inched Victoria home.
The deciding match will be played at the same ground tomorrow.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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