Meteors desperate to give WNCL a serious shake

ACT Meteors coach James Allsopp knew it was going to be tough to replace veteran Kris Britt but he's found the experience to give the WNCL a serious shake.

Britt left a huge hole when she retired from the WNCL after a 16-year career, so Allsopp hunted down two of the best in the world to help fill the void.

He says South African imports Dane van Niekirk and Marizanne Kapp have already proven invaluable as the Meteors prepare to face Queensland at Manuka Oval on Sunday.

The Meteors started their season with a bang with a 30-run win over Victoria on Friday night off the back of a standout performance from van Niekirk, scoring 63 and claiming three scalps.

???The South African captain's presence off the field is making a huge difference in the Meteors' tilt for a maiden title.

"Our girls are just gaining a lot of confidence about how she goes about her cricket," Allsopp said.

"They're learning about how professional both her and Kappie are in terms of their preparation and the way they think about the game.

"Dane has only been with the group for one game and she's provided terrific support for [captain Erin Osborne]. They're going to take heaps from her in terms of the way they go about their cricket and also the way they perform.

"Dane came out and batted and she spoke to the girls about what she experienced batting-wise, just to formulate a plan for us to bowl [on Friday night].

"Credit to the girls, they executed really well, but that plan was driven by the conversation that Dane had with the girls over dinner.

"You could just hear a pin drop in the room because of the respect the girls have for such a terrific world-class player."

Queensland were on the wrong end of a six-wicket thumping at the hands of reigning champions New South Wales in their opening fixture.

But Allsopp has challenged his top six to pile on more runs because the Fire bat deep and they'll come out all guns blazing.

"In terms of the ball and the field, we're going to have to be really disciplined again to try and contain them and we need to bat better," Allsopp said.

"I'm looking for more batters in the top six to really stand up so we can put a big total on the board and put some pressure on them."


Sunday October 8: ACT Meteors v Queensland at Manuka Oval, 10am.

This story Meteors desperate to give WNCL a serious shake first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.