Jonassen a big hit in Twenty20
MOVE over Matthew Hayden, former Rockhampton cricketer Jessica Jonassen is already proving a hit for Queensland in the Twenty20 format.
Jonassen, 19, has been in scorching form with the bat and ball for the Queensland Fire in the Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) and will get the chance to further impress on the big stage in Sydney next week.
The former Rockhampton Brothers all-rounder, now based in Brisbane, will lead the Fire in its clash with archrivals NSW in the curtain-raiser to the opening game of this summer's Twenty20 Big Bash between the Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers at the SCG next Friday night.
The Heat team includes former Australian opener Hayden and big-hitting New Zealand star Brendon McCullum.
Jonassen starred for Queensland in the latest round of the WNCL in Adelaide last weekend, guiding the Fire to two wins over South Australia Scorpions.
Opening the batting last Friday in the first of two Twenty20 games for the weekend, Jonassen blasted 84 not out off 56 balls, including five fours and two sixes.
For the record, Jonassen smashed her first six off just the third ball of the innings.
In a Player of the Match performance, Jonassen also chimed in with her left-arm spin, taking 3-14 from her four overs.
The Fire suffered a 32-run loss in their 50-over match on Saturday before hitting back with a 33-run win in the second Twenty20 match on Sunday.
Jonassen was on fire again in the Twenty20 format, with 43 runs off 39 balls and the impressive figures of 3-16.
Speaking to The Bully from Brisbane yesterday, Jonassen said the secret to her success was "keeping it simple" while the team was also reaping the rewards for its hard work in the off-season.
"I worked very hard on improving my fitness and strength before the season started but the team in general worked really hard and it's paying off," she said.
The second-placed Fire have two more rounds against competition frontrunners NSW and Western Australia before the WNCL finals in January.
Jonassen also has her sights on international duties with the Aust-ralian Southern Stars when they face New Zealand in January before a series against India ahead of next year's Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
"I'm hoping to keep performing well and playing consistently to get a spot," she said.
Life has become a juggling act for the talented cricketer, who is studying law at Griffith University in Brisbane.
"It's very hectic with all the training," she said.
Jonassen's Queensland teammate and another Rockhampton cricket product, Fire fast bowler Courtney Hill, is currently on the comeback trail from injury.