Exciting young talents emerging Sydney Thunder allrounder Hannah Darlington, and New South Wales Under 18 fast bowler Stella Campbell, have made key contributions to a historic win for the Women’s Australian Under 19 team in the final of the Emerging Women Tri-Series in South Africa on Saturday.
Australian Under 19 limited-overs captain and Lendlease Breakers allrounder, Rachel Trenaman, led her country to an enthralling 21-run victory over the South African Emerging Women which secured the first series win for any Women's Australian Under 19 team overseas on the first tour abroad for such a squad.
Trenaman was the leading run-scorer for the series which also featured the England Women’s Academy. She scored 274 runs at the outstanding average of 68.5.
However, it was Darlington – who made a vital 30 from 58 balls – and together with Victoria’s Georgia Wareham (43) helped Australia to a competitive total of 192. Campbell then provided valuable support for her opening bowling partner, and Player of the Final, Tayla Vlaeminck.
The Melbourne Renegades’ quick claimed 6-27, as Australia dismissed South Africa for 171 in the 35th of the allotted 50 overs.
Campbell returned the impressive figures of 2-39 from eight overs, including the critical wicket of South African top-scorer Nadine de Klerk (48), who was the eighth wicket to fall.
The South African Emerging Women looked set for victory at 4/131 in the 28th over of the chase before disaster struck. The hosts lost their last six wickets for just 40 runs within eight overs.
Darlington and Wareham, both top-scored for Australia, and provided the vital runs when required in the Final. The pair came together at 4/57 and their 52-run fifth-wicket stand in the middle overs helped steady the ship for Australia.
Vlaeminck was the next best score for Australia with 21 from 18 deliveries at No. 10. Despite a wonderful series, Trenaman missed out on making a big score in the final.
The captain made 10 from 19 balls but collected the respectable figures of 0-24 from four overs. Trenaman said that her and the team learnt a great deal from the experience.
“We came over here to have a taste of what the tour life was like and to develop on a different continent, so (I’m) really pleased for all the girls and everyone did a fantastic job,” Trenaman said.
“We played seven matches and only lost two, so I think to stand up in a few tight ones as well is fantastic.”
“To be away for three weeks, away from home … to be by yourself and somewhere that’s completely foreign, has developed a lot of us completely.”
Emerging Breakers batter Tahlia Wilson, who was fourth on the list of leading run-scorers for the tournament, made a handy 15 from 24 deliveries at the top of the order.
Wilson scored 178 runs throughout the series at a tick under 30.
The other wicket takers for Australia in the Final were Victorian duo Annabel Sutherland (1-16) and leg-spinner Wareham (1-17).
Trenaman said that previous experience helped her to adapt to the International standard of cricket played during the series.
“Not too different, I have been on a tour before to Sri Lanka and I think playing back home (in) pretty good conditions (and against) quality opposition against the open women too … but I think it’s probably fairly different for some of the younger girls who haven’t experienced that before.”
Distinguished former Australian and NSW batter, and Australian Under 19s coach, Leah Poulton, said it was a fantastic experience for the team against quality opposition.
“Our objective was to come away and give an overseas experience to some talented young cricketers, put them out of their comfort zone, give them a number of different challenges in terms of opposition, conditions and then experience the touring life,” Poulton said.
“I think we’ve achieved that and I’m really proud of the way they’ve done.”