Premier Cricket: Melville women prepare to start Twenty20 title defenses

After two wins in the Female Premier Cricket Twenty20 League last season, Melville Cricket Club have their sights set on a double title defense.

Melville has won both the A and B flags in Twenty20 competition and is keen to win back-to-back wins in both leagues when the women’s season kicks off this weekend.

While they lost Ariana Dowse to Great Britain, coach Jenny Wallace said defending their titles in both classes and improving on the 50-over side of the game was within their means.

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“It’s exciting that we have T20 Premierships to defend in both classes this season, a format that our players really enjoy,” she said.

“Our one-day performances were patchy last season and we all want to consistently improve in this format.

“It would be great if both teams were able to reach the finals so it will be crucial for all of us to take the job.”

Melville captain Mathilda Carmichael said consistency is key to their chances of not only a successful Twenty20 title defense, but they also have their sights set on performing better in the game’s longer format.

“Seeing individuals consistently contribute and succeed within the A-class competition will show improvement in their own games, which will no doubt contribute to team success,” she said.

“Having won the T20 competition last season, we obviously want to repeat the results and improve on the 50-over results where we failed to reach the finals.

“However, with the annual changes there is less of a focus on results and a search for more consistent cricket across both formats.”

While the 50-over format won’t start until November, Subiaco-Floreat have similar hopes of defending last year’s title in this competition.

Lions coach Nicole Bolton said this season would provide ample opportunity for some of the club’s best players to improve and cement their place in the starting eleven.

“With some core A-grade team members not playing and other members having limited availability due to state representation or college commitments, we expect other girls to have the opportunity to become regulars,” she said.

“We also have a group of girls who have come into our senior program from our U17 side, so it’s exciting to have fresh faces on our senior teams.”

Bolton said they also wanted to improve in the game’s shorter format, having won just three Twenty20 games last season.

South Perth fell short of the title twice last year when they lost both the Twenty20 and 50-Over finals and coach Chris Andrews said his team is keen to make amends.

“After years of consistent success and continued development growing up when we were young, we have a talented squad leading into this season,” he said.

“We see great potential for our players and try to reach our full potential by building a team culture and working on high-performing fundamentals.”

Midland Guildford Cricket Club were the only team in the four-club league not to play in a grand final last year, but head coach Chris Secker said the addition of some reinforcements could help them come over the line this season.

“We’ll have a couple of youth league players this season, two overseas players who will be in the A and B divisions and Lilly Mills will be joining the club so we’ll see them play when they’re outside the WNCL is available and WBBL,” he said.

“It’s an exciting season for the program as we seek to develop new game plans, standards and culture within the program to set it up for long-term success and sustainability.

South Perth meet Midland Guildford in the season opener on Saturday while Melville host Subiaco-Floreat. Premier Cricket: Melville women prepare to start Twenty20 title defenses

Nate Jones

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