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WA begin title defence against familiar face Graham

Western Australia’s highly-anticipated 50-over title defence will get underway against Tasmania tomorrow, 367 days since they prevailed in the 2020 final.

WA is the only team yet to feature this summer, with all six teams having been in action as early as last month.

Captain Chloe Piparo said the fixture changes and the pressure of being the reigning champions doesn’t faze her side.

“I think we’ve taken the cake for being the last team that gets underway. All of the girls are really excited to start playing and get into some games finally,” Piparo said.

“There’s always going to be a little bit of pressure having performed well last year but everyone changes their squad around so we’re just taking it as it comes and hoping we can be competitive again this year with the squad we’ve put together.”

After crossing to Tasmania in the off-season, Heather Graham will suit up against her former State and current Scorchers teammates for the first time.

Graham’s Tigers are currently unbeaten after two matches.

Camera IconHeather Graham of the Tigers bats during the WNCL match between South Australia and Tasmania. Credit: Jason McCawley/Getty Images

“We’ve played a lot of cricket with Heather and been around her a lot so it’ll be different suiting up against her – I’m not sure if we’ll have a laugh at the start of the game but we definitely will at the end,” Piparo quipped.

“We’re really looking forward to it and we have a few little cheeky plans so hopefully we come out on top.

“Heather’s a really close friend mine and I really love her so it’s going to be weird tomorrow.

“Obviously I want heather to do really well, just not in the two games we play Tassie.”

Piparo (365 runs) and left-handed bat Nicole Bolton (436 runs) finished last year’s competition as the top two run-scorers.

The 26-year-old said the duo will look to repeat their formula that proved unstoppable last campaign.

“For me and Bolts it’s just doing what we know what works and what’s worked in the past,” she said.

Chloe Piparo of Western Australia plays a shot during the Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) match.
Camera IconChloe Piparo of Western Australia plays a shot during the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) match. Credit: ROB PREZIOSO/AAPIMAGE

“For us it’s keeping the game basic, spending as much time as we can out in the middle and get the others to bat around us.

“We’ve worked on a few bits and pieces of our game to try and take it to the next level but we know our basic game is definitely good enough at this level.

“So if we can try to replicate that again this year it’s going to put the team in a really strong position.”

Uncapped trio Zoe Britcliffe, Poppy Stockwell and Georgia Wyllie have been named in WA’s 14-player squad for tomorrow’s match.

WA SQUAD:

Chloe Piparo (C), Megan Banting, Nicole Bolton, Zoe Britcliffe, Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Sheldyn Cooper, Ashley Day, Amy Edgar, Alana King, Emma King, Taneale Peschel, Poppy Stockwell, Georgia Wyllie

TASMANIA SQUAD:

Sasha Moloney (c), Rachel Priest (vc), Chloe Abel, Sam Bates, Maddison Brooks, Nicola Carey, Heather Graham, Corinne Hall, Meg Phillips, Amy Smith, Emily Smith, Naomi Stalenberg, Emma Thompson, Belinda Vakarewa

MATCH DETAILS:

WESTERN AUSTRALIA VS TASMANIA

7AM WST

Kingston Twin Ovals, Kingston, Tasmania

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