12:25 PM IST, 5:55 Local Time: So that’s that and it’s the Adelaide Strikers that have secured a win by just three runs in what was an exhilarating affair.
Batting first the Adelaide Strikers compiled a first innings total of 121/7 from 20 overs. It all started with Marizanne Kapp wreaking havoc in the very first over as she dismissed Katie Mack 0 (1) and Tahila McGrath 4 (4) in the very first over.
Bridget Patterson 6 (16) didn’t have much to offer as she got run out. Madeline Penna was sent back to the hut soon after by Hannah Darlington. Despite the constant fall of wickets, Laura Wolvaardt made sure to stay there as she along with Danielle Gibson 20 (18) added a 43-run stand in the middle.
With the score being at 80/7 from 16.2 overs, things seemed grim for the Strikers. However, that’s when Wolvaardt 70 (61)* came to her best and powered through the final few overs along with Meagan Schutt 16 (10)*. The duo contributed with a quickfire 41 run partnership which got the Adealaide Strikers to a target worth fighting for.
It was a measured knock by Laura Wolvaardt specifically as she made sure to anchor the innings despite the fall of wickets and took the onus of accelerating towards the fag end.
As for the run chase, it was a dream start for the Strikers as they bagged the dangerous Chamari Athapaththu 0 (3) in the first over with Jemma Barsby chipping in. Phoebe Litchfield 1 (3) was dismissed in the very next over by Megan Schutt as the pressure was now back on Thunder. Heather Knight 11 (24) did establish a slow start but eventually chopped it onto her own stumps in Anesu Mushangwe’s over.
Marizanne Kapp 16 (27) did try to restabilize the innings but was adjourned LBW with Amanda-Jade Wellington being the bowler.
Anika Learoyd 14 (17) and Olivia Porter 9 (9) were dismissed by Darcie Brown and Megan Schutt respectively.
With the score being at 67/6 from 15.2 overs, that’s when things took a dramatic turn as Tahila Wilson and Sammy Jo-Johsnon displayed grit and character as they stormed their way to a 47 run stand in no-time.
Both these batters put the pressure back on the Strikers and it seemed that they could snatch a win from the jaws of defeat. Wilson 33 (23) struck five boundaries, whereas, Sammy-Jo Johsnon 26 (14)* bagged two fours and two sixes. With nine needed off the final over the odds were in favour of Thunder. But that’s when Anesu Mushangwe displayed class and composure as she gave away just six runs with four dot balls-including a wicket of Tahila Wilson in that final over.
For the Strikers, it was Anesu Mushangwe who stood-out with her spell of 2/24. Megan Schutt bagged two wickets as well and made sure to chip in with her all-round abilities today. However, the star of the show was Laura Wolvaardt who played a pivotal knock in the first innings to keep her side in the game.
The Sydney Thunder will be disappointed to not get over the line after having two set batters out there in the last over, whereas, the Adelaide Strikers will be relieved as well as satisfied to defend a below par target with excellence.
c K Mack b A Mushangwe