State records have fallen after a dominant performance by the Alcohol.Think Again Western Fury to topple South Australia by 21 runs in the sides’ opening game of the Women’s National Cricket League at Adelaide Oval No.2.
Internationals Elyse Villani (139 off 103 balls) and Nicole Bolton (125 not out off 130) launched Western Australia’s 50-over tournament in emphatic fashion, steering the state to its second highest WNCL total of 4-323, behind only the 5-329 set against Tasmania in 2013-14.
Villani won the toss for WA and elected to bat, with the visitors imposing themselves in an important early showing to set SA a total that simply proved too great to overcome.
Villani and Bolton further entrenched themselves in WA’s all-time WNCL high scores, with captain Villani’s knock falling just short of her previous state record of 142 and Bolton’s tally fifth overall, with the two players occupying the top-six all-time scores for WA (142 Villani, 139 Villani, 129 Bolton, 128 Bolton, 125* Bolton, 121 Bolton).
Villani’s 139 was also the highest WNCL score of any WA player against South Australia, with Bolton’s 125 not out the second-highest.
It was only the second time that two WA players have hit a hundred in the same WNCL innings and underpinned a dominating opening fixture for the Fury, which lost opener Chloe Piparo for 25 in the 12th over before Bolton and Villani came together.
It was not until the final 10 overs, when WA discarded caution in a bid to push its tally as high as it could, that SA began making breakthroughs, with Samantha Betts’ (2-66) bowling of Villani followed by the run-out of Heather Graham (one) and the dismissal of England import Amy Jones (one).
Fury bowler Piepa Cleary (4-57) ensured South Australia’s innings got off to a stuttered start as she dismissed both openers early in their chase, first trapping Bridget Patterson for three, then bowling Tegan McPharlin for four to have the hosts 2-17.
The Scorpions attempted to rebuild their innings, but were halted at 3-44 when England international Kate Cross (2-47) had Tahlia McGrath LBW for 20, followed by Sophie Devine exiting for 36 in the same way a short time later to Graham.
A superb knock by Amanda Wellington (116), complemented by a half-ton to Tabatha Saville (53), had the hosts close in on the total and WA faced a nervous final few overs, before bowling the Scorpions out for 302 in the 49th.