Leeson snares WBBL wicket with her first ever delivery
CRICKET: Having waited most of the Rebel Women's Big Bash League season to get her start in magenta, Woodford Island all-rounder Carly Leeson made sure her debut was a memorable one.
Leeson signed a development contract with the Sydney Sixers at the start of this season and since then has served as the 12th player on multiple occasions but she got a start on Saturday when regular captain Ellyse Perry was forced out with a calf strain.
Leeson lined up against the Melbourne Renegades at North Sydney Oval and while she was not called on to bat, she made an immediate impression with the ball, dismissing Melbourne rival Molly Strano with her first delivery.
Strano played all around a straight ball from Leeson, knocking it back on to the stumps as Melbourne slumped to 7-81 chasing the Sixers' total of 5-158.
Two overs later and Leeson again had reason to smile as Renegades' hitter Amy Yates spooned a delivery straight down the throat of Sara McGlashan at mid-off for her second wicket of the tournament.
Leeson finished with 2-11 off two overs in an effort that stand-in captain Alyssa Healy described as "a blinder”.
"(The wicket) was definitely a massive surprise,” Leeson said after the game.
"I am really glad it came off and I'm really glad I could contribute to the team's win.
"It was definitely a great feeling, it is something I have been working towards for many years now, breaking into the game of professional cricket, so yeah I was very happy.”
While the Renegades managed to last out the 20 overs, they fell 35 runs short of the Sixers total giving the girls in magenta a much-needed boost leading into the finals.
It was also a slice of revenge after they lost to the Melbourne side the day before.
The Sixers finished the regular season atop the competition table with nine wins from 14 matches.
"(The win) is definitely great leading into the semi-finals,” Leeson said.
"We were looking to build in these last two games and I guess cement our place as the top team in the competition so it was definitely a good turnaround on (the day before).
"It has definitely been an awesome learning experience - learning not just from the best in Australia but the best around the world - I have definitely gained a lot of knowledge jsut in these past two months alone.”
While she has excelled on the cricket field this Summer, Leeson is also kicking goals off the field with the two time Country Cricketer of the Year awarded the prestigious Ben Lexcen Sports Scholarship to study at University of NSW in Sydney.
The former Maclean High School student will follow in the footsteps of fellow female cricketers Alex Blackwell and Georgia Redmayne as she realises her passion in environmental law.
"I've always been interested in animal conservation, and the environment, and I'm also interested in law, so environmental management covers all those areas,” Leeson said.
"I chose UNSW because it is very accommodating for people who play sport at an elite level and who have pretty hectic schedules.”