Sthalekar stars in opening Breakers wins
Lisa Sthalekar and Alex Blackwell led New South Wales to a pair of victories to open their title defence on the first weekend of Women's National Cricket League action. The pair put together a 98-run partnership that set up Saturday's win against South Australia at Sydney's Bankstown Oval. Chasing 166, Blackwell finished unbeaten on 75 and Sthalekar made 56 as they cruised to the target with 12.3 overs remaining. Sthalekar had already starred with the ball, finishing with the remarkable figures of 2 for 7 from ten overs after she won the toss and sent South Australia in. Karen Rolton (59) top scored for South Australia and became the second woman to reach 4000 WNCL runs, while Ellyse Perry, who turned 17 this month, continued to impress with 2 for 29.
It was the same trio who fared best in Sunday's match, also against South Australia. Blackwell top scored with 52 as New South Wales posted 148, but they found it tough going when Kris Britt (4 for 27) and Jenny Gunn (3 for 23) were bowling. Despite the best efforts of South Australia's openers, who posted a 49-run stand, Perry and Sthalekar again troubled the middle order. Perry grabbed 3 for 21 and Sthalekar took 2 for 9 from her ten overs as South Australia crashed to 123 and a 25-run loss. Sthalekar was the Player of the Match in both games, finishing the weekend with an incredible 4 for 16 from 20 overs.