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
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
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
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