The Albert Ground will host the Women's Premier Firsts One-Day Final this Saturday between old enemies Box Hill and Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies Cricket Club (EMP).
The match starts at 11am and will be live streamed via the Premier Cricket website and CV Facebook.
The Mustangs are on the hunt for a four-peat and have shown their consistency throughout the season by not relying on Meg Lanning, and instead looking to other talented players to make their mark on the competition.
Anna Lanning has captained the side well and played important knocks in the past two matches. Anna is the eighth leading run-scorer with 246 runs at 49.20 in seven innings in the One-Day comp, with a top score of 55 not out in the tie against EMP.
Another key batter is Rebecca Carter who has returned from injury in good form, playing in just five matches but accumulating 163 runs at 32.60. Carter should enter the Grand Final with confidence off the back of her season’s top score of 70 in the semi-final against Melbourne.
Cassie Brock is another player who has been instrumental in the Mustangs’ success. She is the competition’s seventh leading run-scorer with 256, and like Anna and Carter, showcased her talent in the semi-final, making 48. With the ball in hand, Brock continues to be a key player in Box Hill’s armoury. The competition’s fourth-ranked bowler has the ability to take wickets early in her spells and often returns to the attack when the Mustangs require a breakthrough. Brock has taken 16 at 18.69, delivering season-best figures of 3-13 in Round Eight against Dandenong.
A second reliable bowler for Box Hill is Hayleigh Brennan who will likely open alongside Kristy Williams. Brennan is another Mustang entering the Grand Final after her season’s best performance. In the semi-final she took 4-31. Brennan has claimed 13 wickets at 16.15 in the One-Day competition and will be looking to add to her haul on Saturday. Williams has also had a good summer, picking up ten wickets at 20.90.
EMP will be hoping to defeat the reigning Premiers and claim their first One-Day Title since the 2011/12 season. With a full squad to pick from and one which completed a convincing semi-final win over Minor Premiers Prahran, the Bombers should enter the Final confident in their ability to win.
Their bowling is their strongest asset which was demonstrated in the semi-final as they reduced a quality side to 6-34. Chloe Rafferty is the competition’s second leading wicket-taker with 17 at 17.29 and performed well on Saturday taking 2-39.
A second key bowler for the Bombers is Australian off-spinner Molly Strano. The all-rounder claimed 4-11 from her ten overs in the semi-final. EMP also have Southern Stars’ leggie Kristen Beams in their armoury who was economical against Prahran, claiming 1-15 from her ten. A second pace option is captain Briana Binch, who has picked up nine wickets at 25.11 and bowled well in the semi-final, taking 2-23 from her ten.
With the bat, EMP will be hoping Strano, the competition’s leading run-scorer, can add to her tally of 405 at 81.00 at the Albert, which is often a good batting track. Strano has already made her mark at the venue this summer, scoring her season’s best of 107 in the opening round against Melbourne.
A second batter who has made notable contributions this summer is Natalie Schilov. The middle-order batter has made three half-centuries, amassing 260 runs at 65.00, and if required to bat on Saturday, will be hoping to deliver another.
A third batter the Bombers will look to is Makinley Blows who has returned from injury and immediately played a role in the side’s success. Blows hit a crucial 34, batting at six in the semi-final to bring her season’s tally to 161 at 40.25 from just four innings.
Depending on the result, the Agnes McDonnel Trophy and Premiership medals will be presented by a VWCA Life Member from each club; Robyn Calder (Box Hill win) and Raelee Thompson (EMP win).
The Betty Wilson Medal will again be presented by a member of Betty’s family, which continues a long standing tradition since the medals inception in 2009/10.
Good luck to both teams in Saturday’s Grand Final in what looks set to be a thriller with evenly matched teams and Women’s Big Bash League, State and international players on show.