Meg Lanning made her long-awaited return to cricket, helping Victoria to a commanding 88-run victory over New South Wales behind career-best outings from Ellyse Perry and Nicole Faltum.
The Victoria team amassed a massive 4-321, the highest Women’s National Cricket League total ever against New South Wales, behind the leadership of Perry (147), who recorded her best List A score, and captain Faltum (107 not out), who scored her first one-day century.
The much-anticipated return of Lanning after a six-month absence was the centre of interest before the game and acting NSW skipper Sammy-Jo Johnson gave the nervous crowd what they wanted when she instructed Victoria to bat first.
The momentum firmly turned back in Victoria’s favour, though, as Faltum joined Perry in the centre, and it stayed there. The Victorian partnership helped the hosts reach 3-174 after 30 overs as Ellyse Perry pounced on any loose ball from the NSW quicks and reached his half-century from 43 deliveries.
Faltum required 53 balls to get his second fifty of the one-day season, and Ellyse Perry was unstoppable. The all-rounder reached her second WNCL tonne in the second-fastest List A hundred of her illustrious career off just 89 deliveries.
“Very good result for the team,” said Faltum on being asked about the ultimate result of one of the most thrilling games of cricket, “really good performance with the ball too, to get over the line with a really convincing win. Traditionally, it got quite good, and the outfields got faster, at junctions it produced really good wicket, a little bit different than we are used to, obviously there was little more grass.”
Although, Victoria lost the toss but Faltum remained to be overwhelmed with the final result of the match and register the much needed win for her team. “We lost the toss,” she further pounced, “but would’ve actually liked to bowl as well but it the end it did really matter. Obviously, pretty special and really nice to get that (the hundred), first one done.”
“I think I have matured a lot as a cricketer, and I have just probably learnt and learning the game a little bit more – learning to convert the scores and making fifties and learning then how to make hundred is another thing,” she added on her improving every bit of the game in the course of time.
On being asked about the attitude she keeps towards her game, she noted, “I have put a lot of work with my batting, obviously had a lot of opportunities in the past. I like to hit the ball quite hard and like to contact the ball. There is much of strategy kind of thing that I am learning and yes, my game matured a lot.”
She also came up with her churn in the game to pound on the fact of sharing the ground and performing such experienced heads as Meg Lanning where she clearly went on to add, “We have been supporting (her); I am so glad she went through that (the game). She has been amazing,” and further noted, “she looked full at pace today.”
She also praised the kind of cricket that she and her mates deal into as she talked about the guidance that she and others got from the experienced ones in the team. “Just getting to learn on the go and then their opinions on things; when I am just a little bit unsure I know I can just go to them and ask them and they are going to help me out which really very nice,” she talked about the team-support and the captaincy that persists inside the team.
Get the latest news here, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more updates.