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17 Dec

Gardner makes sound return from concussion

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Allrounder Ashleigh Gardner has made a promising return from her latest concussion-related break.Exciting women’s n cricket allrounder Ashleigh Gardner has made a successful return from her latest bout of concussion.

The renowned big-hitter smashed an unbeaten 39 off 29 balls and took 0-12 from two overs, as beat a Cricket XI by nine wickets with seven overs to spare in a T20 clash at Sydney’s Manly Oval on Thursday.

The hit out served as a warm-up game for before Saturday’s opening T2O international against New Zealand at North Sydney Oval.

Gardner missed last weekend’s opening round of the women’s National Cricket League after she was struck on the helmet while batting in an intra-squad match two weeks ago.

She suffered three separate knocks to the head in the space of 12 months, which forced her to miss an Ashes one-day international last year and two women’s Big Bash League fixtures for the Sydney Sixers.

Gardner opened the bowling with her offspin and then struck a quartet of boundaries and two sixes when batting first drop.

“The six she hit off that short ball was pretty impressive, so it was nice to see here get that demon off her back and hit the ball as sweetly as she did,” said player of the match Beth Mooney.

The pair shared an unbroken second wicket stand of 88 with Mooney top-scoring with 54 from 38 deliveries.

She stroked 10 boundaries before reached their target of 125 in just 13 overs.

The Cricket XI was restricted to 5-124 with uncapped legspinner Georgia Wareham leading the attack with 2-25 from four overs.

Wareham pressed her claim for a debut against New Zealand by snaring the wickets of n representatives Naomi Stalenberg and Nicole Bolton, who top scored with 42.

Asked if Wareham was ready for the international arena Mooney replied: “I think so, she’s got a very mature head on her shoulders and a really good skill set.”

Meanwhile, uncapped Victorian quick Tayla Vlaeminck is unlikely to be available until game two of the three-match series after she suffered a quadriceps strain during her WNCL opener.

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