At 16 years of age, this girl made her debut for the Sydney Thunder franchise in the Women's Big Bash League. In just her second game, she created history by smashing a special knock and helping her side beat the defending Women's Big Bash League champions Brisbane Heat. After the knock, she will drive back 250 kms and join school on Monday. This is the story of Phoebe Litchfield, who at 16 years and 185 days, has become the youngest in the history of the Women's Big Bash League to hit a fifty.
In the Women's Big Bash League clash at the North Sydney Oval, Brisbane Heat chose to bat and they started off well with Beth Mooney and skipper Kirby Short starting well. Mooney fell for 35 as she fell to Suzie Bates while Grace Harris, their star batter was run-out. Jess Jonassen was in good form but she lacked support. Maddy Green was dismissed by Bates with Litchfield taking the catch. The youngster was making an impact in the firld when she ran out Jonassen for 42 off 34 balls.
Bates was the pick of the bowlers with 3/33 and Brisbane Heat managed just 150/9. In response, Rachel Priest and Naomi Stalenberg gave the Sydney Thunder a fast start but Harris sent back Priest for 31 while Stalenberg was sent back by Sammy-Jo Johnson. When Delisa Kimmince got rid of skipper Rachael Haynes, Litchfield joined Alex Blackwell. The 36-year-old Blackwell is one of the veterans of the Australia women's team and she had made her debut when Litchfield was not even born.
Both Litchfield and Blackwell steadied the innings and it was the youngster who broke the shackles by smashing two boundaries of Georgia Prestwidge. The partnership grew in confidence and both players found the boundary on a regular basis. Blackwell smashed two boundaries off Harris and Litchfield notched up her fifty with two boundaries off Johnson. Blackwell ended the game in style with a big six but it was Litchfield who stole the show.
"Alex was just saying keep calm because I was getting a bit nervous and I put us in a bad position but managed to get us out of there. I can't believe the weekend, I didn't know I was playing and I'm just really happy to be here," Litchfield told ESPNCricinfo. This was the Sydney Thunder's first win in the 2019 edition after they had lost to th Sydney Sixers.