Waves bowl in to grand final

AN efficient bowling display has guided Western Waves to the under 18 girls’ state cricket championship grand final.

The Waves will play Gippsland Pride in a Twenty20 decider at the MCG next year after both sides finished their preliminary rounds yesterday undefeated.

Western Waves celebrated a nine-wicket win against South East at Melbourne’s Aberfeldie Park after skittling the Sharks for 31.

The Waves batted out their 40 overs in reply, making 7-154.

Western Waves coach Jamie Fenech said his side’s bowling was the catalyst for its strong form would be important in the decider.

“It made it easier for us bowling so well — we didn’t have to chase so many runs so it didn’t put as much pressure on our batting line-up,” he said.

“We are playing Gippsland, a side with a fair bit of talent.

“They bowled a team out for 17 so they have a fairly strong bowling line-up as well.”

Fenech said the Waves’ bowlers were clinical against the Sharks.

Brauer College’s Gemma Gibbins finished with 3-10, while Mildura West’s Rhiann O’Donnell (2-1), Merino’s Claire Nolte (3-14) and Workers-Gol Gol’s Mackinley Blows (2-6) were also important.

“The bowlers did a terrific job this morning,” he said. “The score was none for six after five or six overs so we were on top from the start.

“Our bowling has been a strength all week.

“Gemma bowled fantastic all week and got three wickets today.

“She bowled extremely tight at the start and took the new ball every day.

“She’ll be extremely important for us playing at the ’G next year.”

In reply, O’Donnell top-scored with 43 not out and Patchewollock’s Lauren McLean was next best with 21. 

Fenech said Hawkesdale’s Grace Linke and Mercy Regional College’s Grace Lee relished their leadership roles.

“Grace Linke had a fantastic week,” he said.

“She captained, was wicketkeeper and batted at number three so she had a lot on her plate and handled it well. Her captaincy was great this week. 

“Mikayla Doran batted well and Maddi Tobias took crucial wickets throughout the week.”

The Waves defeated South West Metro and Northern Rivers in their two opening day Twenty20 matches on Tuesday and crushed North Metro in a 40-over game on Wednesday. 

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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