BENDIGO’S Tayla Vlaeminck starred in her Women’s Big Bash League debut with Melbourne Renegades last Saturday, capping off a whirlwind past month that also saw her take home a T20 World Cup winner’s medal.
In Saturday’s opening WBBL clash against the Sydney Thunder, Vlaeminck took 4-29 off 3.5 overs.
“I’ve been working pretty closely with the bowling coaches about trying to get driven and it being a hard shot to play and I think the slower ball on that pitch which was getting quite slow was effective,” Vlaeminck said.
Vlaeminck was unable to guide the Renegades to victory, who went down to the Thunder by four wickets after chasing 98 with 19 deliveries to spare.
Vlaeminck’s stunning WBBL debut comes off the back of her international T20 debut two weeks earlier in November, playing a key role in Australia’s ICC T20 World Cup victory against England in the West Indies.
“It’s all happened pretty quickly, but I’m just loving it at the moment,” Vlaeminck said.
Being only 20, and having bounced back from knee and shoulder injuries, the former Strathdale Maristian player said claiming the world cup was something “crazy”.
“It still hasn’t sunk in what we’ve just done,” she said.
“It’s something that was a dream of mine growing up, and to actually get it done and get the win as well was pretty awesome.”
The Meg Lanning-led Southern Stars went 5-1 across the two-week tournament, with the only loss coming in the group stage against India.
It was in that game that Vlaeminck took an incredible one-handed diving catch, which she put down to luck.
“I think it was just reaction,” she said.
“I didn’t really have much time to think about it, I think it was one of those ones where you just go for it to make an attempt and never actually think you’re going to get close to it.”
She said the team had been confident going into the tournament.
“I think everyone was just in a really good place and really confident about what they had to do… and it all came off in the end.”
The next ICC T20 World Cup in 2020 is set to be played on Australian soil, with the final at the MCG.
Vlaeminck said she was looking forward to the prospect of playing as part of the team on home turf.
“Hopefully I can keep playing well… it would be pretty awesome to hopefully make the final and play on the MCG in front of a huge crowd,” she said.
“It was pretty awesome playing in the Caribbean in front of a very noisy West Indian crowd, but to play on home turf in front of a home crowd would be pretty awesome too.”
Vlaeminck next plays for the Renegades’ tomorrow, when they face the Adelaide Strikers in Melbourne.
– Sam Kane and Ben Hann