Erin Osborne in action. ©Twitter/WBBL

At the Karen Rolton Oval, hosts Adelaide Strikers took on the Melbourne Stars. The tourists emerged on top, registering a thrilling 4-wicket last over win.

Stars won the toss and elected to field first. The decision worked in their favour early on, when Suzie Bates was run out in the second over for six. Wickets of Tahlia McGrath, Bridget Patterson and Amanda Jade Wellington soon followed. At 45-4, the Strikers were struggling.

Tegan McPharlin then joined Sophie Devine at the crease. The two put on a 63 run partnership, frustrating the Stars bowlers. They put pressure on the field, running well between the wickets, while also punishing any loose deliveries that came their way. This pressure on the field meant the Stars were found guilty of a few misfields.

Devine was eventually dismissed for a well made 46 off 36 deliveries, off the bowling of Alana King. She fell just short of the boundary rope trying to put away a full toss. Following Devine’s wicket, another small collapse ensued with the Strikers losing three wickets for just nine runs. McPharlin though remained and was joined by Megan Schutt. The two exploited the last few overs to lift their teams total to a competitive 144-7. McPharlin remained unbeaten on 41, while Schutt contributed with a handy cameo of 16* in nine balls.

For the Stars, Erin Osborne was the pick of the bowlers, taking two for 16. King also claimed two scalps, while Nicola Hancock took a wicket.

Chasing, the Strikers bowlers exerted pressure early in the first two overs. However, once McGrath was thrown the ball, Lizelle Lee shifted gears. She smashed two sixes of the over, taking 16 runs off it. Lee hammered 33 runs off 19 balls before she was well-caught by Alex Price off the bowling of Devine. Stars were 35-2. Mignon du Preez and Osborne then combined for a 34 run stand, but just as du Preez looked to accelerate, she was brilliantly caught by Bates for 17. Dani Hazell  cleaned up Katie Mack two balls later to swing the game in the Strikers favour.

Georgia Elwiss then joined Osborne a 30 run partnership before she too departed. Osborne remained steadfast, rotating the strike well with Anabelle Sutherland so that the Stars required nine runs of the last over. They ran two off the first ball. Sutherland was run out on the next ball, looking for two again. This brought King to the crease. The new batter took no time to settle in, instead smashed the English international Hazell for a six to seal the win for her side.

For the Strikers, Devine and Hazell took two wickets each, while Schutt claimed a scalp as well. Both Devine and Hazell were expensive. But Schutt bowled well, at a miserly economy rate of four.

Osborne remained unbeaten on 54 off 45 deliveries. This along with her two wickets meant she was named the Player-of-the-Match for her all-round brilliance.