Betts “career best” delivers Scorpions victory

Sam Betts embraces team mate Ellie Falconer after the SA win. PICTURE: PETER ARGENT
By Peter Argent

In the first game of the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) for the 2021-22 season, Broken Hill bowling all-rounder Sam Betts produced a “Player of the Match” performance that saw South Australia grab an exciting two-wicket win.

At Karen Rolton Oval, last Sunday, February 27, with four of the leading Scorpions players away on national duties in New Zealand, Betts was one of the senior players amongst the squad.

Bowling first, South Australia restricted the Western Australian Fury side to a middling total of 8-228, with Betts being the chief destroyer, collecting a five-wicket haul.

Betts dismissed three of the Fury top order batters – Ashley Day, Maddy Darke and Mathilda Carmichael – all LBW, then in a later spell had Molly Healy caught in the deep by Bridget Patterson and her fifth victim was Poppy Stockwell, caught and bowled.

This was her second five-wicket haul in Betts WNCL career and her best figures, finishing with 5/46 from her 10-over allotment.

“It clicked for us during the week, that we were finally going to play some cricket after what has been the longest pre-season,” Betts said, in her post match media conference on Sunday evening.

“We love playing at home with the support we get and the people that set up their tents.

“I’ve had my two little nephews watching, so that is motivating as well.

“This was my second five-wicket haul, but the last one was in a losing game, so I take this any day.

“I do give Jemma (New Scorpions Captain Jemma Barsby) a little lip as she was by the fifth victim in my first five-wicket haul against Queensland.”

Betts job wasn’t done at the end of the bowling innings.

She played a crucial role as the junior partner in the undefeated eighth-wicket stand with fellow pace bowler Ellie Falconer to ensure victory.

After a solid start, the Scorpions fell from 2/137 to 7/177 before Falconer, with a better than a run a ball 36, which included three maximums and first gamer Kate Peterson edged towards the target with a 34-run association.

Peterson fell at 211, bringing Betts to the crease.

While Falconer hit the majority of the runs in a “game changing” innings, which including a dramatic straight drive for six to achieve victory, Betts played an important role as the junior partner.

Betts faced 13 balls, rotated the strike when able and remained four not out.

SA achieved its target with 13 balls remaining to start their WNCL campaign with a morale-boosting victory.

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