Women's National Cricket League January 14, 2007

Scorching Scorpions reach one-day final

South Australia's 140-run victory against Victoria in Adelaide on Friday sealed their spot in next Saturday's final with New South Wales at the SCG. The Scorpions needed a win with a bonus point to seal the final spot, which they achieved in some style, and though they fell to Victoria on Sunday, that result didn't matter.

Shelley Nitschke starred in the clincher on a bright Friday afternoon, with a fifty and two wickets, and she received good support with the bat from the inevitable Karen Rolton and Julie Woerner. Bowling-wise, it was she and the fellow slow bowlers Kris Britt and Cara Fiebig who did the bulk of the damage, taking wickets at regular intervals, and pace bowler Jenny Gunn also bagged two.

This may have been the first women's day-nighter, but the lights were hardly required: the last wicket, Jodie Dean the third stumping victim to Alicia Dean, meant Victoria were bowled out in under 40 overs to grab the bonus point, sparking jubilation from the vocal locals on the hill and wild celebrations in the dressing room.

Sunday's game meant more practice for the final, but they lost by four wickets as Victoria reclaimed some pride. Rolton posted another half-century and although her Port Adelaide and Australia team-mate Emma Sampson knocked over the opening batsmen, Mel Jones and the dangerous Elysse Villani, Emma Inglis saw them home with an unbeaten 46 and more than three overs to spare.

Queensland, meanwhile, had played themselves out of contention with a loss on Friday at home to Western Australia, and they lost their second match, too, as the visitors' late resurgence began. Western Fury hadn't won a match before they inflicted New South Wales' first defeat in the last round, and ended strongly with two wins.

Jenny Thompson is an assistant editor at Cricinfo