The Konica Minolta Queensland Fire will need results to go their way if they are to make the Women’s National Cricket League Finals after a remarkable individual performance with bat and ball by Victorian Spirit captain Kristen Beams at Allan Border Field today.
The Fire were at one stage on track for a potential bonus point victory, despite Beams’ brilliant haul of 5-12 from 10 overs, before the Australian leg-spinner orchestrated a late innings flurry that snatched victory for the visitors off the second last ball of the match.
Beams finished 59 not out off 48 balls as she and Nicole Faltum (23no) defied the gloom from looming thunderstorms to sweep to 8-184 from 49.5 balls and end the Fire’s hopes of a top two finish.
Queensland could have been in second spot had they claimed the bonus point win but instead can only qualify if Western Australia lose to Victoria tomorrow and the Fire on Sunday and South Australia lose to runaway leaders NSW.
The Fire will rue not batting their full 50 overs, dismissed for 183 from 47.2 overs.
The home team’s batting effort never recovered from the loss of in-form allrounder Grace Harris during the Fire innings when she was forced to retire hurt due to illness.
Harris, coming off a blazing hundred in the Katherine Raymont Shield T20 Final last weekend, was in similar touch today, dashing to 56 from 41 balls before succumbing to sickness.
The Fire struggled to find another batter to take charge of the innings on an oppressively hot day, although Sammy-Jo Johnson (37) and Laura Harris (25) were patient through the middle overs.
Beams did her level best to bring the points home, with an excellent return of 5-12 from 10 overs.
Victoria battled to break the shackles of a disciplined Queensland team bowling display for much of the match, with Beams and Faltum only getting on top in the final 10 overs.
Delissa Kimmince finished with 2-26 from 10 overs.