Graham Croker
Three players from the Universities Women’s Cricket Club have helped Australia to a five-nil white-wash of India in a limited over international series played in Sydney and Canberra.
Lisa Sthalekar, the international women’s cricketer of the year for the past two years, and twins Alex and Kate Blackwell played prominent roles as the Southern Stars opened the 2008-09 season in resounding fashion.
Sthalekar, the UWCC and NSW captain, scored 73 from 69 balls in Australia’s eight-wicket win in the first match, played at Hurstville Oval. She backed that up with an unbeaten 104 in Australia’s 86-run win in the second encounter, played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where she shared a 116-run partnership Alex Blackwell, who cracked 75 from 101 balls as Australia chased down 184 to win. Sthalekar also took 1-15 to go with her second ODI century.
In the third match, played at North Sydney Oval, Australia made 6-233 off their 50 overs (Kate Blackwell 15 run out, Lisa Sthalekar 11 not out, Alex Blackwell 1 not out) and restricted India to 7-169, with Sthalekar taking 4-20 as the Southern Stars won by 54 runs.
The series moved to Manuka Oval, Canberra, for the final two matches.
In game four, Alex Blackwell opened the innings and scored 106 not out as Australia amassed 3-281. Sthalekar (20) and Kate Blackwell (11 not out) also contributed to the massive tally. The Southern Stars dismissed India for 163 to win by 118, with Sthalekar finishing with 1-23 and Kate Blackwell 0-16.
Alex Blackwell continued her fine form in the final game, played on Sunday, scoring 65 as Australia finished with 3-178 off 29 overs in reply to India’s 9-177 off 50 overs. Kate Blackwell finished with three not out, while Sthalekar took 1-33 as the Southern Stars wrapped up the series.
The trio will now return to Sydney for the opening round of the Women’s Grade competition.