Allround Perth Scorchers seal nervy win over Sydney Thunder

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Women's CricZone Staff
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Allround Perth Scorchers seal nervy win over Sydney Thunder

Perth Scorchers celebrate a wicket. © Getty Images

Heather Graham’s wonderful 19th over, in which she conceded only one run (plus a bye), and took two wickets, all but sealed Perth Scorchers’ nervy 11-win over Sydney Thunder at the WACA on Tuesday (November 12). The right-arm seamer’s effort trumped a valiant knock of 43 off 35 balls from Nida Dar, who rescued Thunder from a middle order collapse to take them to the brink of victory.

Defending 117, Scorchers got off to the perfect start ripping through Thunder’s top order to reduce them to 39 for 5 in eight overs. Natalie Sciver started off proceedings with a wicket-maiden, removing the dangerous Rachel Priest in the very first over. She was well backed up by fellow seamers Taneale Peschel, Kim Garth and Graham, who all accounted for wickets.

Hannah Darlington (11), joined Dar in the middle to keep Thunder in the hunt with a quick-fire 25-run stand for the sixth wicket. The teenager fed her senior partner the strike, running hard between the wickets and simply attempting to occupy the crease.

Having resurrected the innings, Darlington then fell to Samantha Betts, caught at mid-wicket in the 12th over. She was replaced by Lisa Griffith, who started her innings slowly, managing only two runs off her first 10 deliveries. However, Dar made sure Thunder kept up with the required run rate, hitting the gaps, finding the boundary and turning the strike over. Her onslaught meant that, going in to the final four overs, Thunder needed 34 runs with three wickets in hand.

That was when Scorchers’ bowlers stepped up to ensure Thunder stumbled. Having previously struck two fours off Garth, Lisa Griffith holed out to Sciver at deep mid-wicket for 11 of 14 balls. Her dismissal triggered a collapse, with Nicole Bolton snaffling the wicket of Rene Farrell in the following over.

With 18 runs required off 12 deliveries, enter Graham. The seamer closed out the game with an extraordinary penultimate over. She squeezed two dot deliveries out of Shabnim Ismail, before castling her with a length ball ball from around the wicket. Her over sounded the death knell for the visitors, leaving Sciver to defend 16 runs— 11 more than she would concede.

 

Garth was the pick of the bowlers for Perth Scorchers. © Getty Images Kim Garth was the pick of the bowlers for Perth Scorchers. © Getty Images

 

Garth was the star of the show for Scorchers, finishing with figures of 3 for 21, while Graham and Sciver picked up two wickets each.

Earlier in the day, having chosen to field, Ismail made sure Thunder took full advantage of their decision, getting Georgia Redmayne— in her first innings at the top of the order— to nick off for a two-ball duck.

Amy Jones (18) and Meg Lanning (25) played some exquisite shots to help the hosts get a move on, but they were dismissed in quick succession leaving Scorchers at 49 for 3— a score that became 59 for 4 following the dismissal of Bolton in the 12th over.

Once again, it was the pair of Graham and Sciver who gave Scorchers hope. Their 43-run partnership helped the hosts cross the 100-run mark. Although they only found the boundary twice (once each), their ability to rotate the strike meant Thunder’s bowlers were having to constantly adjust their lines and lengths. Eventually dismissed for twin scores of 27, they had made sure Scorchers had reached a somewhat competitive total— 116 for 6.

Brief Scores: Perth Scorchers 116/6 in 20 overs (Natalie Sciver 27, Heather Graham 27; Rene Farrell 2-24) beat Sydney Thunder 105 in 19.4 overs (Nida Dar 43; Kim Garth 3-21, Heather Graham 2-16) by 11 runs. PoM: Natalie Sciver.
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