Queensland Fire batsman Delissa Kimmince put on a show at the WACA on Friday, pummelling her way to a match-winning 78 from just 52 balls as Queensland took a resounding seven wicket victory and a maiden WT20 title.
Not only that, both sides made their first appearances in the WT20 final. Melissa Bulow finished her 16 year career with Queensland on the highest possible note, as the ACT Meteors won the toss and batted first on a true and fast WACA surface.
The Fire took full advantage bowling first on the slightly green pitch amidst the Perth morning sun. It all started with 18-year-old Holly Ferling, having Sara Hungerford dropped by Southern Stars player Jessica Jonassen at point.
After that, the pressure continued to build, the Fire giving barely any width or short of a length balls to the Meteors. Ferling got her wicket, that of Katie Mack, just a few overs later, Mack skying the ball to a sliding Kirby Short (who took two catches in the innings) at mid-on.
The experience of Kris Britt showed after the Meteors won the toss, and against the tide she scored 33 off 32 – but the damage came from both ends courtesy of the Fire bowlers. Rene Farrell attempted to provide stern resistance but was trapped LBW right in front of middle stump by another 18 year old in Jemma Barsby. At 3/44, the Meteors needed to lift, however Queensland kept pegging them back.
Sally Moylan put one ball over the ropes set up for the Big Bash League game, unfortunately the runs never eventuated. Ferling bowled 16 dot balls in her four overs, creating havoc on the field. Setting Queensland 108 to win, ACT had their work cut out from ball one.
Kimmince and acting captain Beth Mooney started aggressively, Kimmince finding the mid wicket boundary in the first over. Enter Rene Farrell in the 3rd over, and a beautiful outswinger had Mooney edging to Katherine Pulford at slip. Shifting into another gear, Kimmince built a 78 run partnership with Jonassen (16) and sealed the Meteors fate.
Run rate matters, and the ACT simply could not keep Kimmince back in her crease, the 24 year old right hander hammering a huge 14 boundaries in her innings.
Having usurped the Victoria Spirit at the semi-final stage, the Fire looked in control for most of the game. One moment of the Queensland bowling stint did send a minor scare through the camp as a return throw caught Ferling on the shin. Returning at the end, the quick finished with 2/13 from four overs, while Hungerford (15) and Moylan (18) also contributed.
Fittingly, the celebrations from Queensland were loud in the middle of the ground, Kimmince receiving the player-of-the-match award and possibly turning a few national selectors heads.
What was on display at the WACA was a high quality Twenty20 game between two sides that never gave up on getting to the end. On the day, it was the maroon that took home the trophy and the chocolates. Farrell and her ACT teammates were gracious in defeat and stayed in it until the 11th over, when Kimmince really began teeing off.