New South Wales captain and Australian and Sydney Sixers wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy headlines several star Breakers expected to play for their clubs in the finals of the McDonald’s Women’s Premier Cricket First and Second Grade Combined T20 this Sunday.
Healy will be available to play for Sydney in its semi-final against minor premiers Gordon Blue at Cahill Park, Wolli Creek, following the Sixers WBBL semi-final against the Melbourne Renegades at Drummoyne Oval on Saturday.
In the other semi-final on Sunday, Universities Blue play third-placed Northern District at David Phillips South, Daceyville.
Both semi-finals are held on Sunday morning, with the winners of each match to meet in the final of the Combined T20, scheduled for 2:30pm that afternoon at David Phillips South.
Northern District spinner Lauren Smith, her club team mate 17-year-old Rachel Trenaman, Gordon Blue off-spinner Saskia Horley and Universities Blue allrounder Carly Leeson, are the four other Breakers available for the semi-finals.
Healy was recently named 2018 International Cricket Council Women’s T20 International Player of the Year after a wonderful year in the shorter format. She amassed 578 Twenty20 runs for Australia at an average of 41.28.
The Sydney Sixers keeper-batter made her last appearance for the Sydney club in February last year against Universities in a limited-overs fixture.
In one of her two matches for the Tigers last season, Healy scored a frenetic 94 from 56 balls in the Combined T20 competition against Universities Gold. A repeat of that effort on Sunday will help Sydney grab the upset against the minor premiers.
Sixers team mate, Jodie Hicks, is also expected to return to the Sydney side for the semi-final.
Gordon Blue ran away with the minor premiership during the 13 regular season rounds. It finished more than 16 points clear of Universities Blue in second place.
Horley has been named for Gordon Blue on Sunday. The Sydney Thunder and Breakers allrounder played five of the preliminary matches and was a star performer throughout.
She made 218 runs at an incredible average of 72.67 and strike rate of 127.5.
Horley was just as good with ball in hand during those five matches. She claimed nine wickets at just 5.9.
Leeson has been just as crucial to Universities Blue in the six matches she played for the students. The Sixers allrounder made 238 runs at an extraordinary strike rate of 264.4. She also collected eight wickets at 11.6.
Smith and Trenaman will be key inclusions for Northern District against the students.
Trenaman recently made her debut for the Thunder in the WBBL. The allrounder showed her true value with the ball in that match against the Sixers.
The leg-spinner claimed 2-11 from four overs during the emphatic eight-wicket win for her side.
Smith has returned 10 wickets at 16.9 during the WBBL for the Sixers, and early on in the Combined T20 competition, produced some excellent performances for Northern District.
She made 93 runs and was not dismissed during her two visits to the crease. The off-spinner also claimed three wickets at 9.33.
Back in round three of the Combined T20, Smith was central to Northern District securing a 31-run win over its opponents on Sunday. She made 58 not out against Universities Blue and claimed 2-18 from her four overs.
Spinner Isabella Fitzgibbon was the leading wicket-taker for the competition after the preliminary rounds and has been key to the success of Gordon Blue during the Combined T20.
Fitzgibbon claimed 14 wickets at an average of just 7.14 including best figures of 4/7 against Bankstown Sports in round three.
St George-Sutherland pace bowler Melissa Norup was second on the list of leading wicket-takers with 13 dismissals at an even better 6.15.
Like Fitzgibbon, allrounder Charlotte Anneveld has also been impressive for Gordon Blue. She finished the preliminary rounds as the leading run-scorer for the minor premiers.
Anneveld has made 223 runs at 55.75 including two half-centuries. The leading run-scorer at the end of the regular season fixtures was St George-Sutherland captain Cailyn Fountain.
The Slayers’ skipper scored 292 runs at 58.4 including two fifties and a highest score of 61.
Elizabeth Mair has also been a valuable contributor for Gordon Blue. She has taken 11 wickets at 7.18 throughout the tournament.
On Saturday, in the Third Grade T20 competition, Campbelltown-Camden host back-to-back matches against St George-Sutherland.
Universities Blue take on Gordon in two matches at Tonbridge Park and Manly-Warringah play back-to-back matches away against Bankstown. Universities Gold have the bye for rounds three and four.
The Under 18 Brewer Shield also resumes on Sunday for the second round of T20 matches. In the Sixers Conference, Northern District Gold host Sydney and UTS North Sydney at Asquith Oval.
UTS North Sydney also play Northern District Blue on Sunday at North Sydney Oval No. 2. In the Thunder Conference, Penrith host Bankstown, Parramatta are away to Universities and St George-Sutherland meet Campbelltown-Camden at Olds Park.