YOUNG cricketers Georgia Wareham and Claire Nolte have helped Victoria to a runner-up finish at the national under 15 girls’ cricket championships.
The south-west Victorian teenagers played pivotal roles with the ball as the Vics came within one match of winning the title in Sydney.
Victoria produced its worst performance in the final on Tuesday, losing by 10 wickets to New South Wales after making just 53 batting first.
The display overshadowed what had been a stellar week from the 13-player team, which broke several state records en route to the runner-up finish.
Leg-spinner Georgia, of Mortlake, took 11 wickets for the tournament to be one of five Victorians in the team of the championships.
Claire, of Merino, also impressed taking the new ball.
Victoria’s coach Duncan Harrison said he was rapt to see the girls enjoy their cricket and develop their skills. “Georgia was sensational as a bottom-age player, a ripping kid. She’s got a big future,” he said.
“She bowls leg-spin, got 11 wickets for the carnival, which was the equal-second-highest wickets for the week.
“She’s quite a good bat as well, but we didn’t see the best of her this carnival.
“Claire is pretty raw in terms of technique but she has a red-hot crack all the time, really talented.
“She’ll be a really good player if she keeps at it.
“We’ve had her for two years and she’s a real competitor. You know what you’re going to get.”
Victoria posted wins against Tasmania, ACT, Queensland and Western Australia and lost to South Australia and New South Wales in its pool matches.
The 4-2 record was enough to lift it into the final, but the wave of momentum ended there.
Harrison said the team posted a new record score for a Victorian side at the titles in making 4-220 against Tasmania. It also set new marks for the biggest partnership, most runs by an individual batter and wicketkeeping dismissals, as well as a hat-trick.
“The girls were outstanding,” Harrison said.
“Three or four weeks ago, if you said we’d make the final and five girls would make the team of the championships, we would’ve been pretty happy.
“I think a lot of them surprised themselves with what they could do.”