The Hawks have taken the Cup!
In this third running of the Kirby Short Cup, the UQ Flames and Wests Hawks U18 girls teams fought out a hotly contested final on March 6 at Chelmer Sports ground. The Flames arrived primed for the contest, but the Hawks ran out the winners on the back of tight fielding and a thumping innings from Naiya Varidel.
Former Queensland Fire captain Kirby Short was on hand to present her eponymous trophy to the Hawks after the game. Kirby spoke of her great pleasure in watching the continued growth of girls cricket, and fact that the Kirby Short Cup has progressed to the U18 level this season and is being contested by quality young players, many of whom also back up each weekend to play women’s first and second grade premier cricket.
UQ Flames won the toss and put Wests Hawks in to bat. The Hawks started steadily for the first couple of overs, getting the measure of the pitch and the bowling, then started to accelerate with captain Naiya Varidel striking a couple of fours. When opener Emma Lockwood departed for 16 with the score on 46, the base had been set and Naiya was hitting her stride. Scarlett Varidel took to the crease and did a great job finding singles and keeping things moving along until she too departed with the score on 89. Several Wests wickets fell over the next few overs in pursuit of quick runs to seal the innings, with Naiya continuing to supply the power hitting until she also fell for 78 off 60 balls in the last over. The Hawks innings closed with a competitive 135 for the loss of six wickets.
UQ Flames leapt out of the blocks quickly with the bat before the Hawks started to apply serious pressure in the field. Key Hawks pace bowler Sophie Martin probed outside off stump with her usual accuracy and leggie Naiya Varidel wound up the pressure from the other end. They bowled eight overs in combination, turning the screws on the run-rate thanks to disciplined bowling and increasingly tight fielding.
The UQ Flames wickets started to fall when Emma Lockwood ran out UQ captain Rebecca Kuiters for 12 with the score on 31. Naiya had opener Taylor Hamblin caught in the slips by Sophie Martin a few balls later. Sophie bowled Amreen Kahlon and shortly afterward Scarlett Varidel stumped opener Janelle Pais for 16 off a big Naiya leg break and the UQ Flames were in trouble at 4-41.
Ava Spencer took the batting reins for UQ and hit a fine 37 from 39 balls before retiring with a couple of overs remaining and the result no longer in doubt. Naiya finished with two wickets, Sophie one, and Kinjal Dani one.
UQ Flames completed their innings at 6/103 after their 20 overs and the Wests Hawks had secured a dominant 32-run victory and taken out the Kirby Short Cup for 2020-21.
Congratulations girls on a great season finished off in the best possible fashion… with a premiership!
Key individual stats:
- Naiya Varidel 78 (60) & 2/13 (4)
- Emma Lockwood 16 (25)
- Scarlett Varidel 13 (17)
- Sophie Martin 1/11 (4)
- Kinjal Dani 1/9 (2)