Defending premiers in the McDonald’s Women’s Premier Cricket competition, Universities, will welcome back former Breakers great and, Sydney Thunder captain, Alex Blackwell to the team for round five on Sunday.

Blackwell was named for Universities in round three against Sydney, however rain forced the match to be abandoned. Sunday will be her first match for the club since the students defeated St George-Sutherland in the 2017/18 Grand Final earlier this year.

Breakers players Naomi Stalenberg, Lauren Cheatle and Belinda Vakarewa return to the grade scene this Sunday after their six-match tour of India with Australia A from 15-26 October.

Penrith and St George-Sutherland also welcome back Breakers allrounder Lisa Griffith and 19-year-old opening batter Tahlia Wilson respectively for this round.

Both players were involved in the New Zealand T20 Super Smash last week. Griffith starred for the Otago Sparks claiming six wickets and made some valuable contributions with the bat. Wilson played for the Auckland Hearts.

Blackwell joins several other class players in a formidable Universities team to meet Northern District as the students seek their first win of the season.

Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year and, Tasmanian Roar wicketkeeper, batter, Georgia Redmayne, will make her first appearance for the students this season at Mark Taylor Oval on Sunday.

Redmayne was pivotal for Universities in their emphatic Grand Final victory against St George-Sutherland last season. She scored 141 not out from 149 balls and was named player of the match in the 137-run victory.

She joins Blackwell, NSW Breakers leg-spinner and Universities captain Maisy Gibson, as well as Breakers allrounder Carly Leeson and promising 16-year-old Sydney Sixers seam bowler Stella Campbell, in a star-studded students’ team on Sunday.

Northern District will also have its fair share of star players as well including Breakers and Sixers off-spinner Lauren Smith.

Smith was solid with the ball in her return to McDonald’s Women’s Premier Cricket last Sunday, but it was her batting that stood out in the seven-wicket victory for Northern District against Sydney.

The off-spinner made 51 from 52 balls in the successful chase. She returned 1-22 from 10 overs with the ball.

Australian Under 19 captain Rachel Trenaman will also be in action for Northern District against Universities.

The match between St George-Sutherland and Campbelltown-Camden at Glenn McGrath Oval will feature five Breakers.

Fast bowlers Cheatle and Vakarewa are two of the Breakers to return for Campbelltown-Camden against the Slayers.

Cheatle claimed five wickets at a good average of 26.4 from her five matches during the recent Australia A tour of India. 

She and Vakarewa join Breakers’ reserve wicketkeeper, batter and, Campbelltown-Camden captain Hannah Trethewy in the Ghosts side.

Wilson returns to the top of the order for St George-Sutherland. Before leaving for New Zealand, the Australian Under 19 representative made her highest score for St George-Sutherland in McDonald’s Women’s Premier Cricket against Bankstown.

She made 85 not out in the five-wicket win at Bankstown Oval.

Leader of the Breakers attack and stand-in captain while Alyssa Healy is on national duty, Rene Farrell, will be critical with the new ball for the Slayers against a talented Campbelltown-Camden side.

However, the visitors will be missing centurion from last week and, top order batter for ACT Meteors, Claire Koski for the match at Glenn McGrath Oval.

Koski scored a pivotal 108 from 114 balls in the 40-run win over Universities.

Griffith and Stalenberg return for Penrith in its match against Bankstown at Howell Oval.

Stalenberg scored 140 runs at the excellent strike rate of 112.00 during the Australia A tour of India. The Penrith side will be led by Breakers’ team mate Mikayla Hinkley.

Allrounder Saskia Horley is the only Breakers player named for Gordon for their match against Sydney at Chatswood Oval.

Ladder leaders Parramatta have the bye in round five.

In second grade, Sydney are home to Gordon, Campbelltown-Camden are away to Parramatta, Universities host St George-Sutherland and Northern District travel to Grahame Thomas Oval to play Bankstown.  

On Saturday, in third grade, Gordon meet Bankstown, Universities Blue play Campbelltown-Camden and Manly-Warringah host Universities Gold. St George-Sutherland have the bye.