Sixers’ batting falls short, as Stars and Canes find their feet

What a difference a day makes!

On Monday Stars got their butts handed to them by Canes, who clocked up their first win of the WBBL07 campaign, but next day Stars dished out a convincing 30 run win over tournament favourite Sixers! But then that is T20 cricket.

Image credit: Punch Magazine, July 17, 1841

To be fair Stars didn’t as much lose to Canes, but to Rachel Priest. The veteran Kiwi once again cocked a snook at the White Fern’s selection committee by smashing her first WBBL century off 65 balls. Batting first Canes surged to 152/4 with Priest finishing unbeaten on 107. That is 70.39% of her team’s runs – the highest percentage ever in the WBBL (courtesy of @_hypocaust). Stars had no answers as Priest helped herself to ten 4s and seven 6s. In reply Stars never recovered from being 3/2 in the third over and were bundled out for just 89. 

With the prospect of playing the mighty Sixers then next day it looked like Stars would start their campaign with a miserable and demoralising 0/3, but their bowlers, and a dismal batting effort from Sixers the next day, would prove otherwise. Stars set Sixers 140 to win, courtesy of 41 off the last 4 overs from Bouchier 32* (25) and Garth 24* (21). Given their power-packed batting line-up Sixers were still favourites to win, but Verma’s luck ran out after three balls, and Healy holed out off Sutherland in the deep to leave Sixers 30/2 at the end of the powerplay. With Gardner and Perry there Sixers were still favourites.

Ash Gardner was going at about a run-a-ball, but Perry had 7 off 15 before she hit her first boundary in the 11th over. Two balls later the scoreboard pressure told on Gardner as she sliced to cover. The RRQ had climbed to nearly 9 an over. Nicole Bolton joined Perry. Three more overs – nine, six and four scored. RRQ 10 per over off the last seven overs. Things were getting serious for Sixers. Bolton and Brown departed in the 15th over from Flintoff, with only one run scored, and Sixers were toast! They limped to 109/8 at the end of their allotted 20 overs, with Perry out three balls from the end for 40 off 42 balls. Add that to her one over for 13 and it was a miserable day for the Sixers’ skipper.

In the other games Heat took revenge on Scorchers for their Super Over loss on Sunday with a convincing win. Their top three – Harris 34, Redmayne 59* and Voll 24, set the platform for a formidable 162/5. Scorchers lost Mooney early, and after an initially positive start which took them to 34/1 after 4 overs, they found ways to get themselves out and were bowled out in the 18th over for 103. Spinners Yadav, Harris and Jonassen took 6/45 off their 11 overs. Heat will need them to keep having good days with the ball.

And finally Strikers looked assured as they rolled over Renegades. They restricted them to 126/6 with all their bowlers keeping things tight. Chief wicket-taker was Sarah Coyte with 3/20. In reply they never looked troubled. By the end of the powerplay they were 42/2, but from there Laura Wolvaardt (36*) and Tahlia McGrath (50*) sauntered along to finish the game in the 18th over. In all Renegades threw the ball to eight different players, with none of their seamers (with the exception perhaps of Courtney Webb) proving to be accurate or effective. This could be a recurring theme for the Gades.

The results were :- 

Hurricanes 152/4 beat Stars 89 all out (19.2 overs)
Heat 162/5 beat Scorchers 103 all out (17.2 overs)
Renegades 126/6 lost to Strikers 129/2 (17.3 overs)
Stars 139/3 beat Sixers 109/8

The next seven games are being played on Saturday and Sunday in Launceston and we will take a look at them all later in the week.

Martin Davies

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