Katandra's Hope Irvine has impressed for Victoria Country in its victory over Victoria Metro.By Damen Francis
Don’t mess with Hope Irvine in her own backyard.
The Katandra cricketer helped Victoria Country defeat Victoria Metro in the inaugural Cricket Victoria Under-18 Country v Metro Series at Numurkah last weekend.
Country won a 50-over one-day game on Saturday, and the first of two Twenty20s on Sunday, with the final game a draw.
Irvine, 15, starred in the first Twenty20, blasting 41 runs at first drop to help her team post a match-winning total of 3-119 and add further weight to her credentials as a player for the future.
Batting down the order, she didn’t get a bat in game one and didn’t face a ball in game three, but bowled tidily on both occasions, under the watchful eye of state selectors.
A final team will be chosen from the 24 players that attended the series and upcoming training sessions to represent Victoria at the Under-18 National Championships in Ballarat from January 15 to 21.
‘‘It was definitely good to get one over the metro girls,’’ Irvine said.
‘‘We stayed as one team and it was good to get to know a few of the metro girls as well.
‘‘It was just good to get back out there and get back to playing.’’
The series was in conjunction with a three-day VicSpirit training camp that featured Australian representatives Jess Cameron, Julie Hunter, Elyse Villani and Sarah Elliot.
The senior and under-18 players had a social night at Numurkah Cricket Club on Saturday and Irvine, who plays Premier Cricket with Cameron at Plenty Valley in Melbourne, said it was a great experience.
‘‘It’s good to get to know them as well,’’ she said.
‘‘That way you actually know them and won’t be shy around them when you see them at training.’’
Irvine was one of two off-spinning all-rounders in the Country squad, along with Katelyn Kile of Ballarat.
The pair trained with the bowlers, with Victorian coaches keen to help them develop their spin bowling.
Irvine attended six sessions in Melbourne during the past three months, but is only just getting back into the swing of things, following the netball season, when she was part of Katandra’s Picola District Netball League south-east premiership-winning A-grade side.
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