Meg Lanning, Mignon du Preez headline Melbourne Stars win; Brisbane Heat rise to second spot

Meg Lanning celebrates her half-century. © Getty Images

Rosemary Mair held her nerve in the final over to give Melbourne Stars a brilliant six-run victory over Perth Scorchers to bring their campaign back on track in the ongoing Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) on Tuesday (November 17). On the other hand, Brisbane Heat beat Sydney Sixers by three wickets to move to the second spot in the points table.

Melbourne Stars vs Perth Scorchers

The experience of skipper Sophie Devine at the top of Perth Scorchers batting line-up was clearly felt. The New Zealand skipper hurt her lower back while bowling and had to leave the field after the final ball of her third over against Sydney Thunder in their previous match.

Chasing 150 runs, Chloe Piparo opened with Beth Mooney and the duo gave Scorchers a cautious start cruising to 48/1 in the first six overs. Sophie Day dismissed Piparo for 18 to give Stars the first breakthrough. Mooney followed Piparo soon after falling to Alana King just five short of a half-century.

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Heather Graham (21) too failed to capitalise on the start falling to Rosemary Mair before Day got better of Nicole Bolton. Mathilda Carmichael tried her best with a 30-ball 32 but ran out of partners at the other end. With 17 runs needing in the last six balls, Carmichael hit Mair for a couple of back-to-back boundaries but her dismissal in the fourth ball dashed all hopes of a great victory to finish at 143/8 in 30 overs.

Sent into bat first, Melbourne Stars didn’t get the start they would have wanted as Elyse Villani was trapped plumb in front by Sarah Glenn in the fifth ball of the match. Mignon du Preez joined skipper Meg Lanning in the middle as the duo steadied the ship from an early jolt.

The Australian-South African combo played some delightful shots all-round the park making full use of the powerplay as they hit seven fours and a six in the first six overs. The frequency decreased the bit as the fielders outside the circle as the duo mostly took ones and twos to keep the scoreboard ticking.

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Lanning, who had four fifty-plus scores before this one, brought up her fifth of this season’s tournament with a boundary off Samantha Betts in the 11th over. However, her joy was shortlived as Lanning danced down the tracks to slap Nicole Bolton only to be caught at extra cover by Carmichael bringing an end to 99-run second-wicket partnership.

The dismissal triggered a collapse as Stars from 101/2 in the 12th over to 122/6 in the 17th over. Du Preez who was at the one end could see her mates come and go at the other as she single-handedly tried to take the Stars innings forward.

While Heather Graham has Alana King and Tess Flintoff, Glenn accounted for Anna Lanning. Annabel Sutherland was dismissed by Taneale Peschel. Meanwhile, Nicole Faltum played a 13-ball 18 towards the end to take the score near the 150-run mark. Du Preez was finally out on the final ball of the innings off Bolton for 55.

Sydney Sixers vs Brisbane Heat  

At Sydney Showground Stadium, Brisbane Heat skipper Jess Jonassen (34) starred with the bat as they defeated Sydney Sixers by three wickets. Chasing par 123 to victory, Heat lost Grace Harris and Georgia Redmayne early before Jonassen and Georgia Voll took over the responsibility to steady the ship.

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The duo put together 32 runs for the third wicket before Voll was dismissed by Dane van Niekerk. Jonassen followed suit soon after. Laura Kimmince and Mady Green also made useful contributions towards the end to tale the team over the line.

A gritty 31 off 33 balls from Dane van Niekerk and a 29 by Alyssa Healy at the top helped Sydney Sixers to a 122/7 in 20 overs. Opting to bat first, the Sixers were off to a flying start with Healy all guns blazing. The wicketkeeper-batter hit opposition skipper Jess Jonassen for a four and a six in the fifth over before clobbering a couple of boundaries in the next over off Nicola Hancock.

However, that joy was shortlived as she holed out to Grace Harris. Her opening partner Ellyse Perry, who is having a great run in the tournament, too couldn’t deliver falling to a delivery that went straight onto her pads off Amelia Kerr.

Sixers lost Erin Burns and Marizanne Kapp in quick successions before van Niekerk and Angela Reakes joined hands to steady the partnership. The duo added 34 runs for the fifth wicket to give the bowlers something to defend against. Harris was the most economical of the Heat bowlers, picking up 2/13 in her three. Hancock finished with figures 2/27.

Brief scores:

Melbourne Stars 149/8 in 20overs  (Meg Lanning 57; Mignon du Preez 55; Nicole Bolton 3/25) beat Perth Scorchers 143/8 in 20 overs (Beth Mooney 45; Mathilda Carmichael 32; Rosemary Mair 3/30, Sophie Day 3/16) by six runs.

Sydney Sixers 122/7 in 20 overs (Dane van Niekerk 31; Nicola Hancock 2/27) lost to Brisbane Heat 123/7 in 17.5 overs (Jess Jonassen 32) by three wickets.

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