Former Grafton cricketer Kara Sutherland bowling her left-arm medium pacers for the Queensland Fire.
Former Grafton cricketer Kara Sutherland bowling her left-arm medium pacers for the Queensland Fire. Matt Roberts - CA

FIRED UP: Kara keen to turn the tables for her new team

CRICKET: Former Grafton cricketer Kara Sutherland will be a key part of the Queensland Fire's bid to win its first Women's National Cricket League title at Allan Border Field in Brisbane on Saturday.

Sutherland, who has won WNCL titles with the NSW Breakers, will be facing her old team in the 50-over competition final.

Although a left-arm swing bowler, Sutherland has concentrated on her batting since injuring her knee ligaments in a fall in June.

"I've been picked mainly for my batting since I came back in the last round," she said.

"When I bowl it's mainly been in the middle overs."

She said the Queenslanders are excited at the prospect of taking the title, after missing out three times against NSW since the competition began.

"We haven't been thinking about much else since we made the final two weeks ago," Sutherland said.

"I hadn't realised the Fire had never won a WNCL title before so having that chance is really exciting.

Sutherland said the Fire was happy to be the favourites to win their first title.

"We deserve to be favourite," she said. "We've won the home ground advantage and beat NSW by about 50 runs when we played them."

She said playing at the Allan Border Field - named after another NSW player who helped Queensland win its first Sheffield Shield - should suit the Queenslanders.

"We prefer playing there to the Gabba," she said. "It's a more intimate ground and we play a lot of our home games there."

Sutherland has severed all ties with her home state this season, transferring from the Sydney Sixers to the Brisbane Heat for this year Women's National Big Bash League.

"I'm really excited to be pulling on a Maroon shirt and trying to get Queensland its first title in this competition," she said.

She said her inside knowledge of the NSW camp would not give her any advantage.

"We all play each other pretty regularly so we know each other's games," she said. "With the Big Bash League players are moving around more and more so we all know what to expect from each other."

Sutherland will return to Sydney next week with the Heat to the play the Sixers in the opening round of the WBBL at North Sydney Oval.



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