WNCL Player Focus: Lauren Smith (Tasmania)

DESPITE seemingly being in irreversible trouble, the Tasmanians snatched a win from the jaws of defeat against South Australia in the WNCL last week, winning by two wickets with 10 balls to spare to keep the wood over the Scorpions.

One of the stars of that particular performance was none other than Lauren Smith.

Smith is someone who has not always found it easy to find her feet at national level, but she now finds herself in the green of the Apple Isle and that particular day was a bit of a break out game for her.

Although she did not win Player of the Match honours that day, her two crucial wickets and 41 runs with bat-in-hand were just as crucial, if not more so in the eventual success of her team.

Tasmania bowled first that day, so her wickets were her first contribution to the game. Wicket one came on the first ball of the 19th over.

At that stage the Scorpions were 3/59, and were in the middle of a spinners onslaught, with Smith at one end and Molly Strano at the other. Smith came in and clean bowled Courtney Webb, who was trying to loft the ball to the offside but mistimed the shot.

Her second wicket came two balls into her next over. By that stage things had really started to slow down for the Scorpions, with the visitors at 4/63 at the start of the over.

Enter Smith, who then bowled a dot before bowling a ball that skidded straight past Madeline Penna and she got clean bowled. Later, she also made a handy contribution with the bat to help get her team over the line.

As a tail order batter she is not normally known for her batting, but she went on to post the third highest score of her team at the second highest strike rate. Her innings also included five fours and two sixes.

The timing of her batting performance came at a crucial juncture. The Tigers were 7/143 when she came in and had 14 overs left in their innings. She went on to partner Molly Strano and helped take her side up to 219 when she was dismissed.

This meant that Strano and Hayley Silver-Holmes were able to reach the target and secure the win the very next ball.

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