Georgia Redmayne 134*, Grace Harris four-for steer Queensland to maiden WNCL title

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Victoria, led by stand-in captain Elyse Villani, suffered a 112-run loss chasing a mammoth 318

Queensland Women 317 for 8 (Redmayne 134*, Hinkley 53, Garth 3-45) beat Victoria Women 205 (Garth 48, Sutherland 42, Harris 4-35, Mills 3-36) by 112 runs

Captain Georgia Redmayne‘s unbeaten 134, Mikayla Hinkley‘s 53, and ten wickets between Grace Harris, Lilly Mills and Courtney Grace Sippel handed Queensland their maiden Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) title on Saturday as Victoria got a 112-run hiding at the Junction Oval in Melbourne.

Victoria’s decision to field reaped mixed rewards as opener Georgia Voll and No. 3 Charli Knott fell inside 15 overs with 80 runs on the board. Harris, the big-hitting batting allrounder, was the next to depart in the 23rd over, her 24-ball 20 helping her side past the 100-run mark. On 37 off 66 balls at the time, opener Redmayne, who had made an unbeaten 99 and 90 in her previous two innings, was then joined by Hinkley and the pair put on a 96-ball 111 stand that lifted Queensland to 230 in the 39th over.

Irish professional Kim Garth provided Victoria the breakthrough, ending Hinkley’s 54-ball stay and bowling No. 6 Laura Kimmince in the space of 11 deliveries. Though the opposition kept chipping away at the line-up, Player of the Match Redmayne, who struck 14 fours in her 146-ball knock, anchored one end, her century – the second in the season – coming via a four off Tess Flintoff in the 131st ball of her innings.

With No.8 Meagan Dixon, Redmayne strung a stand of 44 runs from just 25 balls before Dixon became medium-pacer Garth’s third wicket via a caught-and-bowled dismissal. Redmayne’s unbeaten ton, her fourth 50-plus score in eight innings this season, helped Queensland finish on a strong 317 for 8. The 27-year-old right-hander finished second on the tournament run-chart with a tally of 531 at an average of 132.75.

Victoria, table-toppers in the league stage on the back of consecutive wins in the first six games of the tournament, began shakily as opener Bhavi Devchand holed out to Knott off Sippel in the third over. A potent counterattack came from their No. 3 – allrounder Annabel Sutherland – who was ruled out of Australia’s ongoing tour of New Zealand with a stress reaction in her thigh but expectedly made a return to action in the WNCL title clash.

With opener and stand-in captain Elyse Villani, Sutherland added 55 runs before Villani, who, earlier in the tournament became the first player to hit three centuries in a WNCL season, fell to Mills for 18 in the 18th over of the chase. Villani finished on a tournament tally of 611 runs at an average of 87.82, and fell 18 short of Zoe Goss‘ record for the highest run total in a season – 629, set in 1996-97.

Sutherland departed for 42 as she returned a catch to offspinner Harris in the 21st over. Anna Lanning and Lucy Cripps fell to Harris for 5 and 7 respectively, meaning Victoria, chasing a third title – and their first since 2004-05 – had lost half their side inside 27 overs and were more than 200 runs away from the target.

No. 4 Garth offered some resistance with her 54-ball 48 but the trio of Harris, Sippel and Mills never quite let her stage a comeback. Nicole Faltum and Garth fell in the space of four overs to Sippel and Mills respectively, who returned eventual figures of 3 for 44 and 3 for 36. Harris capped her returns with Mainkley Blows’ wicket to complete her four-for as Victoria folded for 205 inside 43 overs.

Victoria were without several of their international stars. Designated captain Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, Tayla Vlaeminck, Sophie Molineux, Molly Strano and Georgia Wareham missed the final because of their involvement in the series in New Zealand that begins on Sunday. Queensland, who were runners-up on five previous occasions, were without Beth Mooney and Jess Jonassen.

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