Katie Mack, bowlers help Adelaide Strikers get back to winning ways

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Gomesh Shanmugavelayutham
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Katie Mack, bowlers help Adelaide Strikers get back to winning ways

Katie Mack in action for Adelaide Strikers © Getty Images

In what could have been a close face-off, the Adelaide Strikers bowlers held their nerve in the death overs to hand their team an 18-run victory against defending champions Brisbane Heat at the North Sydney Oval on Saturday (November 7). Katie Mack, who scored a splendid half-century and set up the match for the Strikers was the player of the match.



Chasing 154, the Heat openers Georgia Redmayne and Maddy Green got off to a great start. Especially, Redmayne, whose previous three scores in the tournament read 4, 0 and 0, was on a mission to turn it around. The left-hander used the fielding restrictions to her advantage and scored some quick boundaries over the inner circle.



Off the 43 runs they added in the powerplay, Redmayne scored 30 from 22 balls. She took the attack to the Strikers pacers and made sure that the required run-rate remains under control. Green was more than happy to play second fiddle to her partner as they added 77 runs in ten overs.



The first breakthrough for the Strikers came in the form of a run-out as Green was dismissed for a 28-ball 25. Darcie Brown cleaned up Jess Jonassen in the very next over with a brilliant delivery that swung back a little in to the stumps.



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Meanwhile, Redmayne was going strong at the other end. She brought up her half-century in 37 deliveries and along with Grace Harris, the 26-year-old tried to build a partnership. However, Coyte removed the Heat opener for a 47-ball 61, and the pressure was now on Harris to accelerate, as they needed 50 runs in the last five overs.



The Strikers kept chipping away with wickets at the other end. Amanda-Jade Wellington dismissed both Laura Kimmince and Amelia Kerr in consecutive overs of which the second one was a brilliant catch by Tahlia McGrath, who dived full-length to get hold of the ball that bounced off Madeline Penna in midwicket.



Harris, who had earlier talked about how she had taken inspiration from the former Indian captain MS Dhoni, tried to take the chase deep. Except for this time, the result did not go her way. She got out for a 14-ball 10, trying hit Megan Schutt over long-on. Harris left a bit too much to catch-up in the last two overs like Dhoni has done on a few occasions.



Eventually, the Heat finished at 135/8 and fell short by 18 runs. Brown and Wellington were the picks of the bowlers for the Strikers as they took three wickets and gave away 36 runs in seven overs between them.



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Earlier, after asking the Strikers to bat first, the Heat seamers made the most out of the pitch that had reasonable pace and bounce. Both Nicola Hancock and Georgia Prestwidge bowled tight lines to keep the Strikers openers quiet.



McGrath tried to ease things for her team by going after Nadine de Klerk. However, she fell after hitting the Heat seamer for a couple of boundaries in the third over. Hancock and Prestwidge bowled an array of short deliveries to Laura Wolvaardt and Mack.



Though they couldn't get a breakthrough, the Heat seamers ensured that the run-rate did not go out of reach. Soon after the powerplay, Mack led the counterattack as she hit Delissa Kimmince for four consecutive boundaries. And suddenly, the Strikers were up and running.



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Once the spinners came on, Wolvaardt and Mack manoeuvred the strike and kept the scoreboard moving with occasional boundaries. The duo added 75 runs in 55 balls before Mack fell for a brilliant 37-ball 50.



Joined by Bridget Patterson, Wolvaardt took charge of things in the middle. Unlike Mack, the 21-year-old's innings today was built on singles and doubles as she hit only two fours and a six in her 39-ball 46. Prestwidge came back again to dismiss Wolvaardt in the 17th over when the Strikers were at 126/3.



A mini-collapse followed. Strikers lost four wickets in the next couple of overs adding just ten runs. Patterson, Wellington, Stafanie Taylor, Penna fell one after another, and two of them were run out courtesy to the excellent effort by the Heat fielders.



A couple of big hits from Sarah Coyte in the last over helped them get past the 150-run mark as the Strikers finished at 153/8. Though skipper Jonassen picked up the most number of wickets, Prestwidge and Kerr were at their best without having the numbers to show in the wickets column.



Brief scores: Adelaide Strikers: 153/8 (Katie Mack 50, Laura Wolvaardt 46, Jess Jonassen 2/25) beat Brisbane Heat 135/8 (Georgia Redmayne 65, Maddy Green 25, Amanda-Jade Wellington 2/19) by 18 runs. POTM: Katie Mack.
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