Beginning the day in fifth position, the Scorpions needed a win against second-placed Tasmania to keep their season alive, and they delivered one of their best performances of the year to do exactly that.

Josie Dooley continued her brilliant season with a maiden first-class century, crashing 116 from just 112 deliveries as the Scorpions piled on 9/266 batting first. Dooley, in her first season with South Australia, was simply sublime. Her innings featured nine fours and two sixes, one of which was a booming shot on the leg-side that brought up her century to the roars of teammates and fans around the boundary.

Dooley has averaged 42 with the blade this season entering the contest, with two half-centuries and a top score of 68*, and today’s triple figure masterclass further cements the fact that the 21-year-old made the right decision in relocating from Queensland.

Bridget Patterson also continued her sparkling form with bat in hand, following up a century against Western Australia with 81 today, further improving on her WNCL 2021 average of 70. Dooley and Patterson compiled 135 runs for the second wicket, putting South Australia in a strong position that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the contest.

For Tasmania, Heather Graham was brilliant in the latter stages to restrict the Scorpions total, taking 5/44 from her 10 overs, including a thrilling hat-trick in the 46th over. After finally seeing the back of Dooley in the 46th over, Graham then removed McPharlin, O’Neil, Betts and Price in quick succession to halt the Scorpions charge to the finish.

Full of energy as they returned to the field, South Australia got off to the perfect start as Samantha Betts took a wicket with her first ball, removing Tasmanian skipper Sasha Moloney for a golden duck. When Betts then claimed the crucial wicket of Rachel Priest and Brooke Harris chipped in to see the back of Meg Phillips, the visitors were 3/36.

Amanda-Jade Wellington then joined the first-ball wicket club by deceiving Naomi Stalenberg in flight, before Eliza Doddridge had Corinne Hall caught behind, reducing Tasmania to 5/56. Heather Graham and Sarah Coyte then began a recovery effort, batting within themselves while also looking for quick runs to drag their side back into the game.

Introduced into the bowling attack in the 25th over, Courtney Webb was the one to break the partnership, inducing Coyte into a loose shot that landed in the waiting hands of Brooke Harris. Webb proved to be a masterstroke from skipper Tegan McPharlin, because the part-timer then removed Graham in her second over, all but ending Tasmania’s chances of a come-from-behind victory.

Betts and Wellington went on to finish with three wickets a piece in the victory as the Scorpions eventually bowled Tasmania out for 205 to claim a bonus point. The loss ends Tasmania’s chances of securing a place in the final, with the Scorpions now left to fight it out with NSW and Queensland for the right to battle Victoria for the title.

The Scorpions have little more than 24 hours to celebrate the victory, with Sunday seeing them take on ACT Meteors at Karen Rolton Oval in a highly anticipated day/night clash that will decide South Australia’s finals chances. First ball is scheduled for 2pm ACDT and entry is free for all, with food and drink available across the day.