A lack of accountability has seen the ACT Meteors slip behind the eight ball already and coach James Allsopp says their response will define them as pretenders or contenders.
A Katie Mack half-century wasn't enough for the Meteors to stave off a five-wicket loss against the Tasmanian Tigers in their WNCL season opener at Allan Border Field on Friday.
Mack scored 57 from 80 balls at the top of the order while Erin Osborne (31 from 36) and Clara Iemma (35 from 46) chipped in to help the Meteors to 218 from 46.4 overs.
The Meteors gave themselves a sniff when they reduced Tasmania to 3-38 before Corinne Hall (86) and Emma Thompson (60) helped the Tigers pass the target with four overs to spare.
But the ACT's batting effort ultimately wasn't up to scratch, with Allsopp saying they left plenty of runs out in the middle as they search for a replacement for injured recruit Anna Lanning.
"Our bowlers did a really good job to make them bat for 46 overs but our batters have got to be accountable," Allsopp said.
"They’re professional cricketers and there’s batters who aren’t doing their job. We’ve got to turn it around really quickly before Sunday.
"Anna came up knowing she was going to be our No. 3. We know Anna can bat for a long time and control the innings batting in that key spot.
"We’ve been trying to find a replacement but we haven’t been able to discover that yet. No excuse, Anna is a really good player but there is plenty of other good, talented girls in our team and they just didn’t aim up."
The Meteors will now turn their attention towards a clash with a resurgent Queensland Fire outfit at Allan Border Field on Sunday.
Queensland nearly let a dominant position slip when they slumped to 6-18 having rolled the highly-fancied NSW Breakers for 149, with Rene Farrell (6-17) doing her best to keep the defending champions in the contest.
But a stunning stand from Sammy-Jo Johnson (67) and Josie Dooley (52 not out) set the hosts on course for a thrilling one-wicket win at Bill Pippen Oval on the Gold Coast on Friday.
"If we can turn this around really quickly on Sunday we’re all back on the same level so we’re going to have to lick our wounds and make sure we aim up on Sunday," Allsopp said
AT A GLANCE
WNCL round one: TASMANIAN TIGERS 5-222 (Corinne Hall 86, Emma Thompson 60; Maitlan Brown 2-30, Erin Burns 1-28) bt ACT METEORS 218 (Katie Mack 57, Clara Iemma 35; Meg Phillips 3-37, Courtney Webb 2-40) by five wickets at Allan Border Field.