Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry has gotten her summer off to a dream start, cracking an unbeaten century in Victoria’s WNCL opener against South Australia in Adelaide.
The 31-year-old scored 117 not out at Karen Rolton Oval on Friday, combining with young gun Annabel Sutherland for a record-breaking 209-run partnership for the third wicket as Victoria registered 2/264 from their 50 overs.
It was Victoria’s highest third-wicket partnership in the WNCL, the fourth largest in the competition’s history.
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Sutherland brought up her maiden WNCL century in the final over of Victoria’s innings, smacking Australian teammate Tahlia McGrath down the ground for her fourth six of the day.
The 20-year-old, who has represented Australia 22 times since making her international debut two years ago, reached triple figures in 96 deliveries, finishing unbeaten on 110 of 101 balls.
The visitors were in dire straits early when South Australian captain Megan Schutt removed rival skipper Sophie Molineux for a duck in the first over of the match.
Molineux was given out caught behind, but replays suggest the left-hander may have missed the Kookaburra.
Perry and Makinley Blows steadied the ship with a 55-run partnership before the latter was dismissed by Scorpions seamer Ellie Falconer for 23 in the 18th over.
But it was all one-way traffic from there on.
Highest third-wicket partnership in WNCL history
232 – Alex Blackwell and Ellyse Perry, NSW vs ACT (2015)
228 – Alex Blackwell and Lisa Sthalekar, NSW vs WA (2010)
210* – Grace Harris and Georgia Redmayne, QLD vs TAS (2021)
209* – Ellyse Perry and Annabel Sutherland, VIC vs SA (2022)
Perry was unable to bowl during the off-season due to a stress fracture in her lower back, allowing her to focus on developing her batting.
“I definitely enjoyed the off-season back home in Australia and having a bit of a chance to work on some things, particularly my batting while I wasn’t bowling,” she told news.com.au at Kayo’s summer of cricket launch last week.
“I was really fortunate to have a lot of help from my dad, who I’ve hit balls with since I was a little kid.
“It was just really nice to hit a lot of balls and figure a few things out, which is always a lot of fun and definitely what motivates you.”
McGrath was the hero during the run chase, cracking an unbeaten 111 to help South Australia chase the 267-run target with three balls to spare.
The 26-year-old struck three consecutive sixes in the final over, delivered by none other than Sutherland, to secure a famous victory for South Australia.
McGrath struck seven boundaries and four sixes in the thrilling run chase, with Victorian spinners Sophie Day and Molineux each snaring two wickets.
Elsewhere in the WNCL, West Australian leg-spinner Alana King rattled the ACT Meteors in Perth, taking 5/12 from eight overs at the WACA.
The talented tweaker rolled through the ACT middle-order, delivering four maidens to help topple the visitors for 143 on Friday.
Meteors opening batter Rebecca Carter top-scored for the Meteors, while West Australian seamer Amy Edgar snared two wickets.