THEY thought their chances of winning Victoria's under-16 female cricket state title had evaporated in the heatwave, but the Northern Rivers girls are well and truly still in the game.
Cricket Victoria has decided to press ahead with finals matches to decide top-four placings, despite the carnival being abandoned after one day of play in 40-degree temperatures in January.
As Northern Rivers finished second in their pool with two wins and a strong percentage, the Lisa Cain-coached squad has earned the right to return to the crease this Sunday for a shot at the championship.
They take on the North East Knights in a semi-final at Fairbairn Park in Ascot Vale, starting at 9.30am.
The victor will play off for the title that afternoon against the winner of East Metro v South East Sharks.
Cain said the girls were thrilled to learn they would get another chance to showcase their skills and her entire squad was available, despite the short notice.
"They were disappointed when it was cancelled... now they have a chance to contest the top four positions, they're really excited.
"The Northern Rivers girls usually finish in the bottom half of the ladder, so to have a crack at top four is fantastic."
The squad is: Tayla Vlaeminck, Bendigo (captain); Georgia Morgan, Colbinabbin (vice-captain); Maizie Willmott, Numurkah; Maggie Marshall, Echuca; Ashleigh Walpole, Yalca; Dana McDonald, Nathalia; Bridgett Drum, Shepparton; Sophie MacKenzie Ross, Kyabram; Charlotte Starr, Inglewood; Rachel Claney, Shepparton; Reni Hicks, Nathalia; and Teagan Brett, Tallygaroopna.