The good thing about the WBBL is that when players of the class of Rachael Haynes and Sophie Devine are missing there are players of equal quality to fill that gap. At Hobart, the Sydney Thunder still had Rachel Priest and Harmanpreet Kaur to score the runs and clear the rope.
This was as crushing a victory for the Thunder winning by six wickets with 15 balls to spare. The game was won with the fielding performance and the batting fired to ensured it finished without any drama along the way.
Suzie Bates without her New Zealand teammate Devine at the top of the order was keeping the Adelaide Strikers in a lone stand of 79 not out from 60 balls. Bates was batting calmly at one while at the other end the Strikers batters were falling over themselves to get out.
That wasn’t to say that the Thunder fielding and bowling wasn’t top draw. The catch to dismiss Tahlia McGrath was of the highest order. McGrath trying to clear mid-wicket miscued it and Kaur at mid-on turning judged the catch with the precision she hits her sixes.
Maisy Gibson was the pick one of the bowlers with 3 for 23. She was patient enough to allow the batters to make the mistakes as the played across the line. Both Tabatha Saville and Tegan McPharlin were both lbw to Gibson. The stand out bowler was Rene Farrell the former Australian international with 3 for 12.
Stafanie Taylor also took three wickets including a relatively easy caught and bowled Megan Schutt for 4. Alex Price was the only other Strikers batter into double figures. The Strikers were bowled out for 132.
The Strikers made the early breakthrough as Stafanie Taylor hit and ran but was left stranded and was run out from her first ball. Priest was batting within herself to start with as steady drizzle was in the air.
When Kaur joined Priest in the middle at the fall of the second wicket it galvanised the New Zealander. Kaur started to hit sixes and Priest wanted to join in. Suddenly Sydney Thunder was ahead of the rate. Kaur was caught in the deep by Bridgette Patterson for 33 from 22 balls. They were still on course to the win.
Priest brought up her fifty from just 40 balls as the Thunder started to race towards victory. The Thunder wicket-keeper finished on 58 not out.
It would be difficult to name a player of the match as this was a team effort for the Thunder. The two teams play again tomorrow and the Strikers will want to put things right in quick time.