By Peter Argent
Fresh from being a member of Perth Scorchers WBBL championship winning squad, Samantha Betts returned to South Australia and on Wednesday night helped the Northern Districts Cricket Club to an SACA first grade (A grade) women’s T20 title.
At the home of SA women’s cricket, Karen Rolton Oval, the Northern Jets batted first and made a competitive total of 6/134 from their full complement of 20 overs, with Scorpions wicketkeeper-batter Tegan McPharlin being the star with the willow.
She made an aggressive 66 from 51 balls, including 11 boundaries opening the innings, while Betts was dismissed for nine (20 balls, 29 minutes).
Darcie Brown helped out late in the innings with a cameo of 21 from 12 balls faced, including five boundaries.
The Jets kept the Glenelg Seahorses to 7/114 from their 20 overs, after the final ball was delivered, there was emotive scenes mid pitch from the Jets players before shaking hands with their opponents.
While Betts went wicket-less, she bowled good lines and finished with the figures of 0/25 from her four overs.
She did take a pair of important catches in the field, both time sitting under high balls and snaffling them with consummate ease.
“While statistically Bettsy’s Grand Final performance may not have looked great, her leadership and effort with the ball and in the field was still first class,” skipper Tegan McPharlin said.
“Getting her to bowl at critical times during the game – like during the power play and at the death, was a very important tool for me.
“She was outstanding and played a leading role in our semi-final victory.
“It was an outstanding finals series by the girls across the squad and wonderful to celebrate a T20 flag at the Jets.”
The Northern Jets had finished fourth in a six-team first grade 10-game Twenty 20 competition at the end of the minor round, scraping into the finals ahead of West Torrens.
They faced off against the ladder leading, nine-win and one-loss Sturt side in their semi-final clash last Sunday, December 19 at Price Memorial Oval.
Betts certainly played a pivotal role in the victory over the Blues.
Coming in at 0/0 Betts, initially facing Australian quick Megan Schutt, delivered a critical team-high 38 in the Jets middling total of 8/112.
She dispatched five critical boundaries in a 41-ball, 51-minute occupation of the batting crease, which dragged her side back into the contest.
Then the Jets bowling attack kept the potent Sturt batting line up to just 102, securing a brilliant 10 run win.
Betts’ part with the ball including the wicket of Blues opener Emma de Broughe, with her analysis from the four overs she bowled being 1/22.
She was also involved in affected the run out of former SA Scorpions team mate Rhianna Peate late in the innings.
This is the Northern District’s first T20 flag in a decade. They last won the title back in the summer of 2011-12, when they had a short amalgamation with Tea Tree Gully.
The Jets also won the first ever SACA T20 A grade tournament back in the summer of 2008-09