WA Records Historic Win Over VIC At NICC
13 February 2017  

The WA Women's Aboriginal XI on Friday recorded a historic 69-run win at the National Indigenous Championships in Alice Springs against competition powerhouse Victoria.

The victory marked the emergence of a talented group of players that has been developed over the past few years.

Following a strong performance and narrow loss against the Northern Territory last Wednesday, WA elected to bat first, with openers Emily Martin and Samara Williams putting on the the team's first 50-plus partnership in its five year history in the competition.

In another first, Williams also became WA's first female player to record a half-century at the NICC as WA posted a total of 6-118.

WA took to the field with a sparkling effort, bowling out the Victorians for 49 in the 17th over, with Kavita Pepper taking 3-10 off four overs.

With many players entering the system with limited cricket experience, the team has been led through a five-year plan that has seen the focus gradually shift from learning about the game and developing skills, to becoming a competitive outfit capable of challenging more established teams.

WA Women's Aboriginal XI Head Coach Brian Shields said the result against Victoria was the culmination of years of hard work that had developed a core group of players travelling to Perth each week to play club cricket and gain much needed match experience.

"Each year we're slowly closing the gap on the other states," Shields said.

"We're excited by the progress of the players and, in the game against Victoria, the team played out of their skins and to walk away with a victory was unbelievable and it's testament to the hard work they've been putting in.

"We were speaking about it with the players last night; we had a five year plan with them and to think five years ago we were here for the team's first trip to Alice Springs and we were getting bowled out for 13, with players knowing very little about the game, coming from all sorts of backgrounds.

"Fast-forward to now; they're competing against strong states, beating Victoria - a very proud state who've been involved in the program from the start.

"You can't really put words to that other than to say it's been amazing."

WA was unable to continue its form in the weekend fixtures, with challenging games against tournament favourite NSW - a team that features WBBL and prospective Southern Stars player Ashleigh Gardner, Sydney Sixers squad member Hayley Hoffmeister and which has won all seven titles since 2009 - and QLD, which will meet NSW in the Grand Final on Monday 13 February.

WA lost its fourth-spot playoff against Victoria by five wickets.

For full news and results of the NICC, please see Cricket Australia's dedicated site.