Blackwell and Sthalekar lead from front

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Graham Croker

Universities players Alex Blackwell and Lisa Sthalekar have literally led from the front for Australia and NSW in recent weeks.
As stand-in captain of Australia, Blackwell cracked 92 in the third one-day international win over New Zealand to secure the Rose Bowl for 2009-10, while Sthalekar recently led NSW to their fifth consecutive National League title with a win over Victoria in the final.
Blackwell has been in rare touch in the five-match Rose Bowl series, scoring 51 and 34 in the first two wins before just missing out on a century in the 102-run third international win in Melbourne at the weekend.
Her 92 came off 119 balls as Australia reached 7-238 off 50 overs. Blackwell shared a 154-run opening stand with Sarah Elliott (62 to set up the formidable target.
New Zealand were in with a chance having reached 4-93 in reply, but they lost 6-43 to be all out for 136. Left-arm spinner Shelley Nietzsche finished with 3-31, while Sthalekar and Elliot each collected two wickets.
While the hosts will have to wait to secure the Rose Bowl Trophy, which also takes in three Twenty20 fixtures, they have a 3-0 lead with two more one-dayers left to play.
Meanwhile, Blackwell and Sthalekar led the scoring for NSW Breakers in their 59-run win over Victoria in the recent National League final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Blackwell top-scored with 59 and Sthalekar cracked 49 in NSW’s total of 9-206 off 50 overs. The Breakers than dismissed Victoria for 147 in 39.1 overs.
The match marked Sthalekar’s record 13th consecutive finals appearance and her third title as captain.


Women’s Sydney Grade competition – Round 11 (Limited overs)

Bankstown Sports 3-123 off 20.5 overs (Asha Smith 47 not out, Carly Ryan 23 not out) d Universities 119 off 33.3 overs (Rosamond Kember 27, Laura Cornford 27, Sara Hungerford 25; Rhiannon Dick 5-25, Sharon Millanta 2-22) at David Phillips North Oval. Toss won by: Bankstown Sports. Batted first: Universities. Points: Bankstown Sports 8, Universities 0.

Women’s National Cricket League – Final (Limited overs)

NSW 9-206 off 50 overs (Alex Blackwell 54, Lisa Sthalekar 49 not out, Ellyse Perry 17, Kate Blackwell 2) d Victoria 147 off 39.1 overs, by 59 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground