Queensland, New South Wales Metro, ACT/NSW Country and Victoria Country will battle for the Twenty20 title at the National Under-18 Female Cricket Championships.
The Queenslanders, the top team in pool one, will play Victoria Country in one semi-final at the QEO on Friday morning, with the victor to advance to the final against the winner of the NSW Metro and ACT/NSW Country semi-final.
Host state Victoria Country needed to upset South Australia in Thursday night’s late game at the Queen Elizabeth Oval to leapfrog the visitors and gain a semi-final berth.
Victoria Country achieved the goal in thrilling circumstances.
The thrilling three-run win was enough to lift its run rate above South Australia.
After being sent into bat by South Australia, Victoria Country posted 114 thanks largely to a fine 42 from 38 balls by Merinda Hale.
Laura Niejalke (4-17) and Stephanie Beazleigh (4-22) bowled superbly for South Australia.
Victoria Country bowled tightly in the early overs to put South Australia under pressure.
When opener Katie Rowe fell for 26 the game was evenly posied with SA 2-64.
SA star Rachel Church looked set to guide her side to victory until she fell to Bendigo teenager Letesha Bawden (1-10) for a well-made 37.
SA needed nine runs off the final over to win, but Vic Country medium-pacer Tiana Atkinson restricted the visitors to five runs.
Jaide Anthony (2-22) was the most successful bowler for Vic Country.
The semi-finals at the QEO and Weeroona Oval start at 9.30am.
South Australia, and the remaining teams that missed out on the semi-finals, play two more consolation games on Friday.
NSW Metro is the only undefeated team going into the semi-finals.
NSW Metro continued its dominant form in rounds five and six on Thursday.
Northern Territory had the title favourite in trouble at 3-10 chasing 92 for victory, but Maddy Darke (23) and an unbeaten stand of 56 between Isabelle Afaras (26 not out) and Hayley Silver-Holmes (30 not out) saw NSW Metro home.
Northern Territory’s Amber Cloughessy (39 not out) batted beautifully in her side’s score of 3-91.
NSW Metro then made it a clean sweep when it defeated Weatern Australia by 42 runs in round six.
Stella Campbell blasted four fours and one six in her total of 42 as NSW Metro made 7-119.
Isabella Malgioglio produced a brilliant spell of bowling for NSW Metro. She took 4-9 off four overs as WA battled to 9-77.
Emma Davidson’s quickfire 30 not out lifted WA from a precarious 7-41.
Queensland sealed top spot in pool one on the back of two impressive wins on Thursday.
Queensland defeated WA by 35 runs in the morning before backing up with a 10-wicket win over Northern Territory in the afternoon.
The win over WA was highlighted by 28 from Renee Irvine and a wonderful bowling performance from Courtney Sippel (3-4).
Sippel’s early spell left WA in all sorts of trouble at 7-13. Ashlee King (25) and Poppy Stockwell (22) batted well to lift WA to 74 – 35 short of Queensland’s total of 109.
Queensland’s bowlers restricted Northern Territory to 8-69 in their round six clash at Canterbury Park.
Amber Cloughessy rounded out a good day with the bat by making 24 for Northern Territory.
Queensland openers Caitlin Mair (33 not out) and Courtney Sippel (22 not out) needed just 7.4 overs to score the 70 runs required for victory.
ACT/NSW Country will fancy its chances of knocking off NSW Metro in the semi-finals.
ACT/NSW Country enter ths emis on the back of two big wins over Victoria Country and Tasmania on Thursday.
In round five, ACT/NSW Country’s bowlers dismissed Vic Country for just 83, with Emma Hughes, Alisha Bates and Abby Taylor taking two wickets each.
Best with the bat for Victoria Country were Alyssa Humphries (24) and Merinda Hale (22), while Kangaroo Flat’s Jasmine Nevins made five.
In reply, Anika Learoyd smashed an unbeaten 40 for ACT/NSW Country and the visitors won by four wickets in the 14th over.
Opener Sarah Young was the star of ACT/NSW Country’s big win over Tasmania in round six.
Young belted 53 off just 45 balls to lead her side to the biggest team total of the week – 6-169.
Abby Taylor hit three fours and one six in her 37 not out off 21 balls, while Abby Taylor made 25 off 18 balls.
Gabrielle Sutcliffe took 3-17 with the ball as ACT/NSW Country dismissed Tasmania for 83.
Emma Manix-Geeves finished unbeaten on 23 and Amy Duggan made 21.
The Cricket Australia XI rounded out its preliminary round campaign with two wins.
The young guns defeated Tasmania at the QEO in the morning before scoring a big win over Vic Metro in the afternoon.
After restricting Tassie to 8-72, the Cricket Australia XI needed less than 10 overs to reach the target thanks to 32 from Kayla Burton and an unbeaten 26 from Ruth Johnston.
After winning the toss and batting against Vic Metro, Phoebe Litchfield made 50 off 43 balls to lead the CA XI to 6-132.
Vic Metro opener Tess Flintoff was the only player to score more than five in the team total of 71.
There were four runs outs, while Isabella Grieg took 2-11 for the CA XI.
Friday morning’s semi-finals and consolation games are scheduled to start at 9.30am.
The afternoon consolation games will start at 2.30pm, with the grand final to be played at the QEO from 6.30pm.
Semi-final 1 – Queensland v Victoria Country (QEO)
Semi Final 2 – NSW Metro v ACT/NSW Country (at Weeroona Oval)
Victoria Metro v Western Australia (at Kangaroo Flat)
South Australia v Northern Territory (at Harry Trott Oval)
Tasmania v Cricket Australia XI (at Eaglehawk)
3rd v 4th play-off: (at Weeroona Oval)
Plate Match: Tasmania v Victoria Metro ( at Kangaroo Flat)
Plate Match: Northern Territory v Cricket Australia XI (at Harry Trott Oval)
Plate Match: Western Australia v South Australia (at Eaglehawk)
Grand Final: (at the QEO)
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