The NAGAWOWs and the Hit-n-Runners will battle it out for first and second place, with the game starting at 7pm on Monday night. The curtain raiser to the final is the match for third and fourth place, between The T-Birds and the Bushbats, starting at 6pm.
The competition was open to women and girls over 14, some of whom hadn’t played cricket or the indoor format before but took on the challenge to play the six-a-side competition during October and November.
There was also a team of returning cricketers who dusted off their bats and got back on the court to relive their glory days. The “NAGAWOW’s” (Not As Good As We Once Were) featured several experienced players who have represented the NT in Indoor or Outdoor cricket. The team has averaged 118 runs per match this season, making them the team to beat. Bianca Clark is the highest run scorer, making 122 runs with a mammoth strike rate of 190.63. Kelli Carroll has been handy with the ball, taking 6/29 for the tournament so far.
Amanda Challen leads the team and has played Indoor Cricket for the NT at Open and Masters level. She is co-owner of the Palmerston Indoor Cricket Centre and is pleased with the tournament so far: “It’s been exciting to see four teams come together to play in this series and we’re hoping that we can build on that for next season. We’ll have a break over the Christmas period then offer another six week season in February and March next year.
The Hit-n-Runners are placed second on the ladder and have been anchored by the mother/daughter pair of Tina and Rianna Carlson, who have played all matches, bringing their experience from the NT Strike League into the Indoor format. Rianna is the leading the run table with 98 runs to date and is the leading wicket taker (6) for the Palmerston based team.
The Bushbats and The T-Birds will play off for third and fourth spot after a solid season.
The T-Birds (pictured at the top) had a consistent team during the tournament and saw some good performances from Michelle Kassman who topped the team batting with 119 runs from her five matches, and Mel McArdle who took nine wickets and made 107 runs. The T-Birds named themselves in support of the “T for Thomas” campaign which raises awareness for Sepsis. The campaign is close to their hearts after Thomas Snell, a young local cricketer tragically passed away after developing sepsis while representing the NT in Rugby. They proudly wear their orange T-Bird shirts and will be looking to end the season with the bronze against the Bushbats in their playoff match for 3rd and 4th position.
The Bushbats have one win from their games so far and have averaged a team score of 96 runs for the last three matches. The team features another mother and daughter combination in Alison Jenkins, who plays cricket for Southern Districts and the NT Strike League, who was joined by her daughter Sam who was playing cricket for the first time. Alison has led the team with the bat, scoring 99 runs from her 4 games so far with a solid strike rate of 173. She also played cricket in the Alice Springs Masters Games this year, along with Nat Jones, another Bushbat and Southern Districts cricketer. The BushBats played the T-Birds in round 3 and won the game 164-107, but anything can happen in a final.
Head of Community Cricket, Narelle Morrison explains the social indoor game is a fantastic entry point for girls and women wanting to try cricket, or those returning to sport after a break. “It’s a fast game and everyone is always in the action, with everyone getting to bat and bowl. It’s great for any age, whether you want to keep fit and have fun or really consolidate your cricket skills. The social aspect is also important and it gives women the opportunity to relax and connect in an encouraging community without the pressure of a really competitive tournament. It has been a lot of fun and great to see the players’ skills and confidence increasing each week.“
It’s a hard final to call and the atmosphere will be great for this round of the Monsoon Cup. The tournament has been a success and the next short season will get underway in February next year for women and girls. Another six rounds will be played with a finals game in March, prior to the start of the outdoor cricket season.
Palmerston Indoor Sports Centre owners Mal and Amanda Challen are no strangers to Indoor Cricket, having ongoing involvement with the State and National Indoor Leagues and Championships. Amanda says “The Indoor Cricket Masters series is coming up in May next year in Adelaide, so it’s a great opportunity for some of our women to consider forming a team to compete and represent the NT to play against other states in the competition”
To find out more about getting in to Indoor Cricket in Palmerston, or to nominate a team of six girls and women for the February competition, go to www.pisc.com.au or contact Mal Challen at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.