A new-look and youthful Western Australia went down to South Australia by two wickets in their long-awaited Women’s National Cricket League opener in Adelaide on Sunday.
WA, which had five debutants including wicketkeeper-batter Maddy Darke who impressed with 49 and five catches, posted a competitive 8-228 batting first.
Perth Scorchers championship player Mathilda Carmichael top-scored with 75 off 83 balls, putting on 86 for the third wicket with Darke.
Both players fell to SA quick Samantha Betts who destroyed the top order on her way to figures of 5-46.
In reply, the hosts chased down their target with 2.1 overs to spare after a late scare, finishing on 8-230
South Australia were cruising at 2-137 thanks to opener Emma de Broughe (58) and Courtney Webb (48) before losing 6-74 to slump to 8-211 in the 44th over.
But Ellie Falconer ended a brave fightback from WA with a quickfire unbeaten knock of 36 off 30 balls including three sixes.
Off-spinner Amy Edgar was the pick of WA’s bowlers with 4-35 from her 10 overs, while speedster Taneale Peschel (2-62 off 10) and first-gamers Georgia Wyllie (1-32 off nine) and Charis Bekker (1-32 off 6.5) were also among the wickets.
WA take on the Scorpions at Karen Rolton Oval again on Tuesday.
The remainder of WA’s condensed campaign will take place in Sydney and Canberra, with fixtures finalised before the state border reopening date of March 3 was announced.