Breakers surge to trophy after dumping Victoria
New South Wales 4 for 120 (Poulton 43, Blackwell 42*) beat Victoria 117 (Smith 39*, Perry 4-23) by six wickets
New South Wales' dominance of the Women's National Cricket League continued as they breezed to a six-wicket win over Victoria to seal their fourth trophy in a row. Ellyse Perry picked up 4 for 23 to destroy the Spirit's middle order as they struggled to 117 and the victory was secured when the hosts reached 4 for 120 in 34.2 overs.
The Breakers' success ensured their 11th victory in the 13 years of the competition and an undefeated season in the one-day tournament. It was the first final Perry, the 18-year-old Player of the Match, had completed after last summer's decider was washed out.
"It was a tremendous experience and I won't forget it in a hurry," Perry said. "It was great to put together the sort of performance we knew we were capable of."
The match at the SCG began in ideal fashion for New South Wales with them winning the toss and having the dangerous Rachael Haynes run out from the third ball. Mel Jones, another major weapon, was shut down when Sarah Andrews had her lbw for 7 and after that there was no easy way forward.
Sarah Aley picked up two wickets in the 14th over to drop Victoria to 4 for 43 and then Perry arrived with three breakthroughs. After losing 5 for 9, Jodie Dean and Clea Smith held on during a partnership of 39 in 16.2 overs to lift from the ruins of 7 for 52. Smith finished with an unbeaten 39 to top score, but Elyse Villani's 19 was the next best effort. Aley picked up 2 for 5 from six overs while Andrews had 1 for 11 off seven.
Leah Poulton overcame the early loss of Alex Blackwell (3) and exited with 43 after being caught and bowled by Kristen Beams. Kate Blackwell, whose limited opportunities this season contributed to her missing the World Cup squad, hit the winning runs with a four to long-on and left with 42 and another trophy.
Despite her impressive haul, Perry rated Andrews' removal of Jones as her favourite wicket of the day. "We got off to a really fantastic start with Sarah Andrews and Sharon Millanta and I was lucky to come on when there was a lot of pressure on them," Perry said. "It was a brilliant team performance and it was fantastic to finish on a high."
Perry leaves for New Zealand on Wednesday for five ODIs in the Rose Bowl Series before returning to finalise preparations for the World Cup in March. Australia are the defending champions after their victory in South Africa in 2005.
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo