Western Australia 231 (Bolton 67, Day 32, Farrell 4-33, Campbell 3-55) beat New South Wales 189 (Trenaman 37, Darke 36, King 3-28, Bolton 3-34, Graham 3-40) by 42 runs
A superb all-round display from Nicole Bolton took Western Australia to their first Women's National Cricket League title with a 42-run win over New South Wales at North Sydney Oval.
WA were playing just their third final, while NSW had won 20 of the 23 editions of the tournament held since it began in 1996-97. But Bolton produced a calm and composed 67 to help the visitors to a competitive total of 231 before taking 3 for 34 with the ball to help bowl NSW out for 189 and claim Player of the Match. Bolton was also named Player of the Tournament having topped the run-scoring with 436 runs at 48.44, including five half-centuries in nine matches. She took the third-most wickets in the tournament claiming 16 scalps at 19.43.
WA were in early trouble at 2 for 8 after winning the toss and electing to bat. Rene Farrell, in her last professional match, took the key wickets of Chloe Piparo and Graham in her first two overs. But Bolton shared three consecutive 50-plus run partnerships with Ashley Day, Mathilda Carmichael, and Megan Banting to put WA in the ascendency before Farrell returned and forced Bolton to chop on.
Stella Campbell also picked up three wickets but WA's tail was able to keep the scoreboard moving at five per over to put up a challenging total.
NSW started the chase superbly with Rachel Trenaman and Maddy Darke racing to 62 without loss in the 13th over. But Graham trapped Trenaman in front for 37 and then the spinners got to work. Bolton took a sharp return chance to remove Darke for 36 and then King strangled the middle-order. She took three wickets in six overs including the prized scalp of teenage prodigy Phoebe Litchfield for just 3.
NSW never got close as Bolton and Graham returned to ice the game.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne