Preview: 2022/23 WNCL Final – will history repeat?

THE 2022/23 WNCL season come to a thrilling conclusion on the weekend, with Tasmania hosting South Australia for the chance to win the title.

It is a case of history repeating itself, with these two sides also contesting the 2021/22 decider which was also held in Tasmania.

In last season’s grand final, a strong partnership between Emma Manix-Geeves and Elyse Villani was the key for the Tasmanians to chase own South Australia’s tally of 8/242.

So with the Tigers and Scorpions once again the two best sides of the WNCL, will the results of the final also mimic last year’s decider?

Both teams have had really strong seasons, and are well deserving of a place in the grand final. Both sides only lost two matches for the season, with half a tied game splitting the two on the ladder.

The two sides also have some very recent history, with the sides playing their two matches for the season against each other only a matter of weeks ago.

In game one it was Tasmania who prevailed by six wickets after they chased down South Australia’s total of 6/244. Some of those to star that day include Lizelle Lee, Nicola Carey, Manix-Geeves, Courtney Webb and Amanda-Jade Wellington, all who should play a crucial part in Saturday’s decider.

In the second game a matter of days later, it was Tasmania who prevailed again, chasing down 225 with six wickets to spare. Villani starred that day with 125 not out, while Sarah Coyte, Maisy Gibson and Brooke Harris all starring with the ball for their respective sides.

When you look at the league stats for the whole season, it is also little surprise that it is these two teams who find themselves in the grand final once again.

Six of the top 10 batters in terms of most runs scored this season (Villani, Lee, Webb, Emma de Broughe, Carey and Madeline Penna) are either Tasmanian or South Australian, while half of the top ten highest wicket takers are either Tasmanian or South Australian (Coyte, Molly Strano, Jemma Barsby, Wellington and Kate Peterson).

So there is one question left to be asked. Will Tasmania go back to back, or is the Split Enz song correct and history does never repeat? Regardless, it is sure to be an entertaining clash for fans and neutrals alike.

The 2022/23 WNCL Final will take place on Saturday February 25 at Blundestone Arena in Hobart. The match is set to get underway at 2:05pm AEDT, and fans can watch the match on Foxtel and Kayo.

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