Asha Smith on her way to 71 runs for the Meteors. Photo: Graham Tidy
A blistering half century from opener Asha Smith has helped the ACT Meteors upset the defending women's Twenty20 champions.
Smith's stylish knock of 71 from just 58 balls laid the platform for the Meteors to beat a depleted Victoria Spirit by seven runs at Manuka Oval on Friday.
But Meteors coach Andrew Dawson said his side was lucky to hang on and secure the points after letting the Victorians back into the contest.
Kate Owen made 17 not out off 15 balls in the Meteors' win. Photo: Graham Tidy
Without Australian Southern Stars duo Jess Cameron and Julie Hunter, the Spirit was in trouble chasing down the winning target of 141.
But some lusty hitting from the middle order got them within striking distance, only to fall short, finishing on 8-133, in response to the ACT's 5-140.
''When we got Meg Lanning out [at 4-32], I think we turned the engines off and didn't respect the Victorian middle order,'' Dawson said.
''They're all very good players and we were a bit poor.
''Don't get me wrong, it's very pleasing to beat the defending Twenty20 champs, but they're down Cameron, they're down Hunter, so they're short on players.
''It's good for the girls we got the points, but we've got to do better.''
In the absence of New Zealand international Sian Ruck, Rhiannon Dick (2-16) and Zoe Cooke (2-22) were the pick of the Meteors' bowlers and made valuable breakthroughs early in the innings, sharing the first four wickets.
Smith belted nine boundaries in her innings after a lean start to the summer.
''Asha's done a lot of work in the past few months since relocating to Canberra,'' Dawson said.
''She's been more consistent in training, so it was pleasing to see.''
The two teams meet again in a Women's National Cricket League one-day match on Saturday before rounding out their triple-header with another Twenty20 match on Sunday.
Saturday's match starts at 10am.