Tasmania beat South Australia in ‘insane’ WNCL final that’s blown cricket away

One of the craziest finishes in cricket has unfolded with Tasmania defeating South Australia in the final of the Women’s National Cricket League on Saturday night.

South Australia appeared certain to claim its second title needing just four runs heading into the final over before Sarah Coyte bowled one of the greatest overs in cricket to claim the most unlikely of victories.

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South Australia lost five wickets for two runs in the final over as Coyte took three scalps as well as a ricocheting run out to push Tasmania to a one-run victory, giving the Tigers back to back WNCL titles.

The ridiculous scenes have stunned the cricket world with the final over certain to reside in the annals of cricket history.

South Australia’s run chase was reduced as a result of a rain delay and they appeared to be cruising towards their revised target of 243 after Tasmania had reached 264 from its 50 overs.

With Annie O’Neal (28 off 20) and Jemma Barsby (28 from 17) settled at the crease, the match appeared over for Tasmania heading into the final over with South Australia 5/239.

Then the madness unfolded:

First ball – Annie O’Neil bowled.

Second ball – Single to short third-man.

Third ball – Jemma Barsby stumped by Emma Mannix-Geeves.

Fourth ball – Amanda-Jade Wellington run out via a ricochet from Coyte’s hands.

Fifth ball – Ella Wilson dismissed via LBW.

Sixth ball – Anesu Mushangwe run out on last ball coming back for second run.

Coyte finished with 4/30.

“You are always ahead until they pass you and we knew we had to create a few dot balls but the pressure was always going to be on them, so if I executed what I wanted to bowl, we were always going to be a chance and I’m glad it came off,” she said at the end of the match.

“I was actually pretty calm (before the last over) because I’d spoken to Jude Coleman (Tasmania Coach) before I went out and was really clear with where I was going to bowl.

“It was a really bizarre game, it was stop-start where we were constantly looking at Duckworth-Lewis. The game ebbed and flowed a lot … This is the best game I’ve been a part of without a doubt. You can’t ever replicate a game like that.”

The cricket world was blown away by the drama at the death.

Code Sports’ Lachlan McKirdy called it a “miracle”.

South Australia finished as back-to-back runners-up.

“Pretty raw at the moment, it was an unbelievable finish, needing less than a run-a-ball, being out there I’ve done that a couple of times before and unfortunately I couldn’t get it over the line today for the girls,” captain Barsby said.

“We’ve had different people step up and difference times this season and that’s why I’m proud of the girls because we have got better from previous years and we’re excited that we’re still building.”

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