Natalie Sciver, Meg Lanning hand Melbourne Stars a comprehensive victory

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Gomesh Shanmugavelayutham
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Natalie Sciver, Meg Lanning hand Melbourne Stars a comprehensive victory

Natalie Sciver celebrates a wicket. © Getty Images

It was a regular day at work for Meg Lanning as she scored another half-century in a successful run-chase for the Melbourne Stars against the Perth Scorchers at the North Sydney Oval on Saturday (November 7). Natalie Sciver, whose allround contribution helped them win comprehensively, was the player of the match.



Chasing a below-par 119, Elyse Villani didn't take too long to get going. She hit Scorchers skipper Sophie Devine for a boundary and a six in the second over. Not wanting to give her any pace, Devine brought in Sarah Glenn, and immediately, she got the reward. Villani was trapped in front of the stumps by Glenn for a nine-ball 13.



With the possibility of rain on the radar, Mignon du Preez and Lanning kept the momentum going by hitting at least one boundary every over. In the sixth over, Lanning smashed back-to-back boundaries off Nicole Bolton and by the end of the powerplay, the Stars were in a strong position at 43 for 1.



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When it looked like the Stars were running away with the game, Devine took a tough catch at mid-off to dismiss du Preez for 20. Sciver joined Lanning in the middle, and they put on a chasing masterclass.



The pair were happy to rotate the strike and pick up boundaries on the odd occasion as they kept the required run-rate under control. Lanning flicked her counterpart for a massive six, and Sciver followed it up with another boundary in the same over.







They remained unbeaten till the end chasing down the target in 15.2 overs. While Sciver made 33 from 26 balls, Lanning brought up her 22nd WBBL half-century with the winning shot off Glenn in the 16th over. The Stars skipper thus became the first player in the history of the WBBL to score a half-century against every team.



Earlier for the Scorchers, Beth Mooney and Devine started slowly against the Stars pacers. Mooney opened up with a couple of boundaries off Annabel Sutherland. In the next over, Devine hit a massive six off Erin Osborne. 



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However, she got run out in the same over owing to a brilliant fielding effort from Osborne. Joined by Bolton, Mooney tried to accelerate by going over the inner-circle. She hit Katherine Brunt over mid-off for a boundary before getting out to Sciver in the next over for a 20-ball 19. 



A back-of-a-length delivery that bounced a little bit more than she anticipated took the leading edge and landed in the safe hands of Sciver. A couple of deliveries later, Bolton holed out to the deep midwicket fielder trying to hit Osborne over the boundary, and all of a sudden, the Scorchers were struggling at 33 for 3.



Stars skipper Lanning bowled her spinners Alana King and Sophie Day in tandem to tighten the screws on the Scorchers, and they did not disappoint. While King removed Chloe Piparo, Day dismissed Lauren Down for 11 from 15 balls.







The onus was then on Heather Graham to take the team to a competitive total. Alongside Megan Banting, she added 42 off 32 balls. They were cautious against good bowlers and capitalised whenever the bowlers faltered. Graham hit three boundaries in Tess Flintoff's over before Sciver stalled the momentum by dismissing  Banting for a 16-ball 18. 



Graham fell in the very next over trying to go after King and walked back for 29 from 30 balls. Scorchers added 16 runs in the last two overs, and with the help of Sarah Glenn and Jemma Barsby, reached 118 for 9 by the end of 20 overs. Sciver was the pick of the bowlers with crucial wickets of Mooney and Banting giving away 23 runs in her four overs.



Brief Scores: Perth Scorchers: 118 all out in 20 overs (Heather Graham 29, Beth Mooney 19; Alana King 2-16, Natalie Sciver 2-23) lost to Melbourne Stars 120/2 in 15.2 overs (Meg Lanning 51*, N Sciver 33*) by eight wickets. PoM: Natalie Sciver
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