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The ICC Women’s Global Development Squad (WGDS), which features players from Australia, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Thailand, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe, lost both their matches against Sydney Thunder. The ICC squad is set to play various WBBL teams as the teams prepare for the WBBL. Their first opponents were Sydney Thunder against whom they lost the first match by 37 runs and the second by 90.

In the first match, Thunder batted first with retired Australian great Alex Blackwell opening the batting with Maddie Penna. Blackwell scored a quickfire 13 before losing her wicket. Penna though, carried the momentum, scoring a 46-ball-51. She was well-supported by Naomi Stalenberg, who powered her way to 38 in the pairs 55-run partnership. A useful 19 from Litchfield helped raise Thunder’s total to 151-7. For WGDS, P. Chatterji and K. Arja took two wickets each, but while the latter got taken for 36 runs, the former was more economical, conceding 24.

In the second innings, Sterre Kalis got her team off to a good start. She along with N. Chantham took 32 runs off the first five overs to give their side a fighting chance. However, once Kalis was dismissed by Lisa Griffith for a well-made 29-ball-33, WGDS crumbled. No other batter stepped and WGDS could only manage 114-7 in reply. They lost by 37 runs. The pick of the bowlers for Thunder was Mackenzie Carr, who finished with figures of 2-25, while Griffith, S. Horley and E. Hughes took a wicket each.

The second match saw Thunder bat first again. This time, Stalenberg opened the batting with Litchfield and grabbed the opportunity of being promoted up the order by both hands. She hammered her way to her maiden T20 century, off just 55 balls, before retiring. Her knock included 10 boundaries and three maximums. Blackwell finished on an unbeaten 51 as Thunder posted 200-1 on the board. WGDS’s bowling could not do anything about Stalenberg and Blackwell, who were both firing.

In reply, WGDS got off to a less than ideal start. They were reduced to 1-1 in the second over. Chantam then joined wicketkeeper-batter M. Mupachikwa at the crease to help stabilize the innings. She did just that before being bowled by Darlington, having scored 26 runs. The WGDS was determined to bat through the innings and put up great resistance, with a 45-run partnership between Kalis and Tiripano troubling the Thunder bowlers. Despite their valiant effort, WGDS fell 90 runs short of the target, finishing their innings on 110-6. Hughes bowled well, ending on 2-14, while Darlington finished close behind with figures of 2-17.