Graham Croker
Alex Blackwell’s first tilt at captaining Australia was a tough ask: win at all costs to keep the defending world champion’s hopes alive in the 2009 ICC Women’s World Cup.
With the Universities Cricket Club member at the helm, Australia defeated Pakistan by 107 runs at North Sydney Oval yesterday and remain a remote chance of making the World Cup final.
The Southern Stars need to defeat England on Thursday and hope other results go their way to have any chance of making Sunday’s final.
“We’ve had a really tough run so it’s good to get a win back,” Blackwell said after the win over Pakistan.
“We are a team quite capable of beating England and we are more than confident we can do it. We know there is a sliver of hope and we want to play well.”
Sydney University is represented by two other players in the Australian side, with Blackwell joined by Universities team-mate Lisa Sthalekar and new student and Sydney University Sport Elite Development Program member Ellyse Perry, who plays for Gordon in the Sydney Grade competition.
The Southern Stars had a tough start to the competition and can blame New Zealand and the vagaries of the weather for losing their round one match. After dismissing the Kiwis for 205 off 48 overs, the Australians were 6-132 when rain stopped play. They duly lost by 13 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis scoring method.
The Australians hit back with a 61-run win over South Africa, with Blackwell making 22 and Sthalekar collecting 1-27.
Perry was Women of the Match when Australia defeated West Indies by 47 runs in their third-round match. She scored 36 and took 2-28, while Blackwell contributed 46 not out and Sthalekar 15 and 2-32 with the ball.
Moving into the Super Six segment of the tournament, Australia lost to India by 16 runs at North Sydney Oval on Saturday.
India finished with an imposing 5-234 off 50 overs before restricting Australia to 7-218. Blackwell top-scored for Australia with 54, while Sthalekar collected 3-52.
Needing to defeat Pakistan to keep their hopes alive, the Australians scored 6-229 off 50 overs before dismissing Pakistan for 122 off 45.1 overs, with Perry collecting 2-16.
The Southern Stars are now relying on a win over England and fate.