Sealed in a thriller

A nail-biting finish in the VWCA Essteele Premier Firsts has seen Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit stars Kathleen Hempenstall and Elyse Villani bowl Brunswick Park to victory against top of the ladder Box Hill at the weekend.

Opening up with the star pairing of Villani and VicSpirit captain Emma Inglis, Brunswick Park got off to a flyer before a direct hit run out saw the latter caught short of her ground for nine with the score 1-29.

Villani (19) followed shortly after which halted the run rate, however, the Parkers managed a competitive 6-125 after their 20 overs thanks largely to ex-VicSpirit player Tammy Norquay (52).

Box Hill had its run chase well and truly under control thanks to solid partnerships at the top of the order that saw the Mustangs' scorecard reach 2-118, needing just eight runs from the final two overs.

Inglis threw the ball to her red-headed quick and Hempenstall delivered removing Bronte Stray (26) and then finding the edge of Sarah Chancellor-Goddard (two), which the skipper gracefully accepted standing up to the stumps.

Needing just four runs from the final over and in-form Mustangs' bat Kate Dempsey on strike, the Parkers were still underdogs with Villani standing at the top of her mark.

Following a single off the first ball, Villani then bowled brilliantly keeping Box Hill scoreless for the rest of the over to see Brunswick Park get over the line by three runs.

Inglis spoke of Villani's efforts with the ball after the game.

"She (Villani) has always rated her own bowling and with good reason, she bowls quite economically and picks up wickets so she's a really handy bowler to have," Inglis said.

"We're pretty excited...Brunswick Park hasn't played in a T20 final yet so we'd love to make the final."

The win keeps the Parkers within striking distance, just one win from the top of the table Box Hill and Essendon-Marribyrnong Park with a game in hand.

Not to be outdone, VicSpirit representatives Emily McIntyre (28) and Cassie Brock (40) helped EMP maintain their unbeaten run in T20's this year with a nine-run victory over Plenty Valley.

Story kindly provided to Cricket Victoria by Andrew McCormack.


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