Lendlease Breakers, Sydney Sixers and Australian allrounder Ashleigh Gardner has smashed a whirlwind century to lead the Aboriginal XI to a definitive 137-run victory against a team representing the National Cricket Conference of England in Derby on Sunday.
In the third T20 match of the historic first tour of the United Kingdom by a female Indigenous team, Gardner crunched 129 not out from a mere 71 balls to guide her team to their maiden victory of the trip.
The tour also involves an Indigenous Men’s touring squad and commemorates the 1868 Pioneers, a group of Aboriginal cricketers who became the first Australian sporting team to travel overseas when they toured the United Kingdom 150 years ago.
In the men’s T20 match against Derbyshire also played on Sunday at the same ground, New South Wales batsman Brendan Smith scored his second half-century of the tour in a seven-wicket victory for the Aboriginal Men’s XI.
Gardner hit a remarkable 15 boundaries and four sixes during her match-defining innings against the National Cricket Conference XI.
The captain of the Aboriginal Women’s XI reached her century off just 60 balls and the knock helped the visitors post 4/199 from the allotted 20 overs. In reply, the National Cricket Conference XI finished 5/62 from their 20 overs.
The Aboriginal Women’s XI lost their previous two matches to the Surrey and Sussex Women’s teams respectively.
An integral member of the victorious NSW Indigenous women’s team at the 2018 National Indigenous Championships, Zoe Fleming, is the leading wicket taker for the Aboriginal Women’s XI on tour so far. The teenager has claimed four wickets at 11.00.
Smith made 57 from 28 balls for the Aboriginal Men’s XI against Derbyshire as the visitors reached the victory target of 157 with 16 balls to spare. His highest score for the tour is a blistering 61 from 24 balls he posted in a tense five-run win over a Surrey XI.
In response to 6/156 posted by Derbyshire, the Aboriginal Men’s XI finished 3/160 to register their fourth win on tour from five T20 matches.
The Aboriginal Men’s XI opened their tour with consecutive victories over a Marylebone Cricket Club XI in back-to-back T20 matches on 5 June and defeated Surrey two days later.
The only loss came against Sussex on 8 June which the Aboriginal Men’s XI lost by 99 runs.
Smith is the second leading run-scorer for the Aboriginal Men’s XI on tour with 164 runs at 32.8. He trails former Australian and Blues allrounder, Daniel Christian, by 23 runs.
The Aboriginal Men’s XI captain has posted 187 runs at 62.33.
The tour concludes for both the men’s and women’s teams on Tuesday at Trent Bridge with each team to take on a Nottinghamshire XI and an ECB Academy squad respectively.
Aboriginal XI Men
5th June – Aboriginal XI def Marylebone CC by 21 runs @ Arundel Castle
5th June – Aboriginal XI def Marylebone CC by 6 wickets @ Arundel Castle
7th June – Aboriginal XI def Surrey by 5 runs @ The Oval
8th June – Aboriginal XI lost to Sussex by 99 runs @ Hove
10th June – Aboriginal XI def Derbyshire by 7 wickets @ Derby
12th June – Aboriginal XI v Nottinghamshire @ Trent Bridge
Aboriginal XI Women
7th June – Aboriginal XI lost to Surrey by 36 runs @ The Oval
8th June – Aboriginal XI lost to Sussex by 79 runs @ Hove
10th June – Aboriginal XI def National Cricket Conference by 137 runs @ Derby
12th June – Aboriginal XI v ECB Academy @ Trent Bridge