Josie Dooley was brilliant with the bat for the Scorpions, finishing unbeaten for the second consecutive fixture, but Elyse Villani and Ellyse Perry were simply too good, seeing Victoria escape with a thrilling two-wicket victory with just two balls remaining in the game.
Losing the toss and being sent in to bat, Dooley played a lone hand for South Australia to compile a game-high 68* while wickets consistently fell around her. Now four games into her debut season with South Australia, Dooley has looked more confident with each passing delivery and is showing why the Scorpions were so keen to have her join their ranks for the 2021 season.
If they were any chance of defending the relatively low total of 205, the Scorpions needed early wickets and economical bowling and they got both from their openers. Megan Schutt went for just 11 runs in her first six overs, while Tahlia McGrath claimed the crucial wickets of Sophie Molineux and Meg Lanning before either could get going. It was another masterful performance with the ball from McGrath, who finished with the figures of 4/46 from her ten over spell.
The game began slipping away from the Scorpions when Villani and Perry joined forces in the middle for Victoria. They quickly formed a commanding partnership against the spin of Amanda-Jade Wellington, Alex Price and Jemma Barsby, and South Australia were unable to produce the ball needed to break the pairing.
In fact it wouldn’t be a delivery, but a direct hit from the arm of Courtney Webb, that removed Elyse Villani. The electric run-out changed the momentum of the contest, with the Scorpions suddenly finding themselves right back it. When Betts claimed Sutherland for 34 and McGrath removed Wareham just moments later, the equation quickly became a run-a-ball for Victoria with fresh batters revolving through the crease.
The Scorpions took the game all the way to the final over, with Victoria managing to find the winning runs with just two wickets in hand and two balls to spare. Villani and Perry’s partnership was the defining moment of the match, with the two putting on 112 together. Perry top-scored with her 67, but it was Villani that pushed the case early, finding the boundary with ease from the opening overs before eventually falling for 61.
The Statewide Super SA Scorpions now return home ahead of a huge clash with NSW at Karen Rolton Oval on Sunday 28 February. First ball is scheduled for 10am ACDT and entry is free.