Australia captain Meg Lanning has made a successful return to professional cricket after six months out with a medical issue, striking a 48-ball 51 in her first game back in the WNCL for Victoria against Western Australia in Perth on Tuesday.
Lanning quietly made her long-awaited comeback in the WNCL having not played since the WPL in India in March after missing the women’s Ashes entirely due to an undisclosed medical issue.
She delivered with a free-flowing half-century at the WACA. Following a huge slice of luck off her seventh ball of the innings, where she was caught in the gully off a no-ball from Piepa Cleary, she took full advantage thumping six fours and a six in her half-century. She got her innings going against the offspin of Lilly Mills, thrashing her through cover and over long-off against the spin. She then unfurled cuts and pulls against Australia legspinner Alana King and two delightful sweeps off Amy Edgar’s offspin.
She reached 50 off just 47 balls but fell one ball later, chopping Zoe Britcliffe onto her stumps trying to late cut behind point. Lanning’s return augurs well for her chances to be part of Australia’s multiformat tour of India in December and January, which follows the WBBL.
Lanning’s 51 was a rare success for Victoria as they were bowled out for 176. Ellyse Perry made just 8 on her comeback from a knee injury while Australia team-mates Annabel Sutherland and Georgia Wareham both fell for 1.