In-Form Bates Returns To Boost Fury
2 January 2013  

The Western Fury have received a boost as they bid to qualify for the WT20 final with the return of in-form New Zealand captain Suzie Bates ahead of this upcoming weekend's final regular season round triple-header away to The Tradies ACT Meteors.

The Fury, who clinched their spot in the 50-over WNCL finals last round, take on the Meteors in a triple-header beginning on Friday at Manuka Oval, where they must win both WT20 games against third-placed ACT to have a shot at reaching the decider of the shorter-format game.

Bates returns to the Fury side fresh from an outstanding Rose Bowl Series for the White Ferns against Australia where she scored 274 runs at 91.33, including a match-winning unbeaten ton in Game One as well as two half-centuries.

The New Zealand all-rounder has missed the Fury's past two games, having returned to her homeland to play for local club Otago Sparks before December's international series.

Bates also has been in stellar form with the Sparks, blasting a remarkable 162 off 140 against Canterbury last month. She is the leading run scorer (666 runs) and equal top wicket-taker (16 wickets) in the New Zealand Women's One Day Competition.

The White Ferns captain replaces Carla Hunter, while teenage bowler Piepa Cleary has been left out.

Fury skipper Nicole Bolton is available to lead the side having joined Bates at Otago recently, scoring 79 off 78 in last week's win over Wellington Blaze with the pair combining for a record 133-run second-wicket partnership.

The Fury, who secured their finals berth in the WNCL after ACT lost to Konica Minolta Queensland Fire last round, will hope to improve their top four position in Saturday's fixture in the 50-over competition.

The Western Australians are also in the mix to make the WT20 final, but must win both games on Friday and Sunday against the third-placed Meteors and hope second-placed Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit go down to leaders Lend Lease NSW Breakers.

The Tradies ACT Meteors v Western Fury

WT20 (Fri 4 Jan, 2pm at Manuka Oval/ Sun 6 Jan, 10am at Manuka Oval)

WNCL (Sat 5 Jan, 10am at Manuka Oval)

Nicole Bolton (Captain), Suzie Bates, Emma Biss, Kate Burns, Renee Chappell, Sarah Fragomeni, Heather Graham, Emma King, Chloe Piparo, Nicola Shaw, Gemma Triscari, Jenny Wallace