Opening batter Tahlia Wilson showed maturity beyond her years on Sunday to steer the Breakers to an opening victory in the Women’s National Cricket League against South Australia in Adelaide.
In a side missing four Australian players and including three teenage debutants, the 19-year-old carried her bat scoring 95 not out from 111 deliveries in the 4/196 required to win the rain affected match at Karen Rolton Oval.
Wilson, who has recently signed with the Sydney Thunder, was playing just her third WNCL match after debuting for the Breakers last season. She passed fifty for the first time during her match-winning knock that included 11 boundaries.
South Australia earlier posted 8/195 from the allocated 37 overs reduced down from the regulation 50.
Victory was secured with five balls to spare starting the WNCL title defence in perfect style.
Among those Australian players was captain and wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy, who Wilson deputised for behind the stumps. Allrounder Lisa Griffith became the 29th woman to captain NSW in Healy’s absence.
The three teenagers to make their debuts on Sunday were seam bowling allrounder Hayley-Silver Holmes, 16, batter Phoebe Litchfield, also 16, and off-spinning allrounder Saskia Horley, 19.
The Breakers team included five teenagers including Wilson and leg-spinning allrounder Rachel Trenaman, 18.
It was the first time since November 2016 that three Breakers had debuted in the same WNCL match. Silver-Holmes and Litchfield became the second and third youngest Breakers to debut.
Trenaman, who claimed 2-16 from her three overs on Sunday, is the youngest to debut at 15 years and 214 days, playing her first match in 2016/17.
She joined seamer Rene Farrell (2-37) as one of the two multiple wicket takers for the Breakers in Adelaide.
Batting at No. 3, Naomi Stalenberg (42 from 43) provided Wilson with good support after Griffith was dismissed on the first ball of the chase by South Australian pace bowler Stacey Oates (1-22), also on debut.
Their 86-run partnership for the second wicket came at almost a-run-a-ball and kept the scoreboard ticking over.
Wilson’s third wicket partnership with Trenaman (24 from 33), worth 60, was also vital.
At one stage, South Australia was 2/132 in the 27th over after winning the toss and electing to bat. However, some disciplined bowling restricted the hosts.
Silver-Holmes claimed her first WNCL wicket beating the defences of allrounder Tahlia McGrath (59 from 66), who has represented Australia in one Test and four One-Day Internationals.
The wicket broke a 101-run opening partnership with Bridget Patterson (78 not out from 99). Silver-Holmes finished with the tidy figures of 1-19 from six.
Seamer Sarah Aley also claimed 1-38 from seven overs and drew level with former Australian pace bowler Bronwyn Calver in equal fifth place on the all-time list of leading wicket takers for NSW. Both women have collected 94 WNCL scalps for the state.
The Breakers next play Victoria in Adelaide on Tuesday.