Two of the world’s best female players will be a prominent part of round nine of the McDonald’s Women’s Premier Cricket.

India’s Harmanpreet Kaur and West Indian Stafanie Taylor will play their first matches this Sunday.      

Both Kaur and Taylor, who are preparing for the third edition of the Women’s Big Bash League with the Sydney Thunder, will feature for Universities and Penrith respectively, at Sydney University Oval No. 1.

Both players bring a level of international experience and expertise to each team that is at the upper echelon of world cricket.

Kaur is a familiar face for Australian cricket fans, but perhaps just not for the right reasons. Her highest one day international score of 171 not out was posted in the semi-final of the recent women’s World Cup, held in the middle of this year, to eliminate Australia from the tournament. She has an enviable record in the one-day arena scoring 2025 runs at an average of 36.81.

The high quality line-up for the students doesn’t end there however, with Sydney Thunder spinner Maisy Gibson also returning from her duties with the Lendlease Breakers’ for the blockbuster match. 

Taylor headlines a Penrith squad which is just as good, with Breakers’ Naomi Stalenberg also returning from playing in the Women’s National Cricket League.

Taylor is an accomplished international player at both a one day and T20 level. She has amassed 4028 runs at 43.31 and 127 wickets at 19.03 in the 50-over format, while in T20 matches, she has 2474 runs at 37.48 and taken 68 wickets at the impressive average of 16.42.

It is these abilities with bat and ball that should prove invaluable for the Panthers on Sunday, as they push for a top four spot on the ladder.

Breakers’ Nicola Carey and Renee Farrell will make welcome returns for St George-Sutherland for its match against Sydney, as third plays fourth respectively.

Both women were in great form on Sunday for the New South Wales’ Breakers with Carey taking 3-28 and Farrell picking up 4-35 in the big win over the ACT in the WNCL.    

Ladder leaders Bankstown Sports will take on fifth-placed Gordon at Bankstown Oval with a win to the visitors potentially also putting them in the four.

Gordon will be looking to rebound quickly after a very disappointing loss to Universities last weekend. Its batters went missing against the students to be all out for 90 chasing just 117 for victory and a win against Bankstown will be the best way to put that behind them.

Bankstown meantime are coming off an emphatic six wicket victory over last year’s finalists Sydney and will be hungry to maintain top billing in the competition.

Opening bowler Emma Newman will be seeking to add to her excellent wicket tally for Bankstown this season already collecting 13 wickets at 16.69. She is currently the leading wicket taker in McDonald’s Women’s Premier Cricket.

In other matches, bottom of the table Northern District and Campbelltown-Camden will meet each other at Mark Taylor Oval.

In second grade, Bankstown Sports are at home to St George-Sutherland, Parramatta play Gordon at Merrylands Oval, Universities host Northern District and Sydney play Campbelltown-Camden at Ryde Oval.

It is the last round of the Third Grade competition, with a number of clubs jostling to secure their place in the final four. The top two spots are all but wrapped up by Bankstown Sports and St George-Sutherland, who play Gordon and Universities Blue respectively.

The final two spots in the finals is down to a race in two with Universities Black, Gordon and Campbelltown-Camden all still in the mix. Gordon face a tough assignment against the table-topping Bankstown, but will have the home ground advantage on its side. Meantime, Campbelltown-Camden play North West Sydney, while the equation is largely out of the hands of Universities Black who have the bye.

A win to Gordon should be enough to see the students through but there are a number of unknowns which could determine the final make-up of the top four.    

In the Brewer Shield Under 17 competition, Manly-Warringah play its very first home match in McDonald’s Women’s Premier Cricket against St George-Sutherland, Gordon are away to Bankstown Sports, Northern District host Campbelltown-Camden, Penrith play Parramatta in the local derby at Bill Ball Oval, and Universities are at home to Sydney.