Sammy-Jo Johnson, Rachael Haynes keep Thunder alive; Devine-Mooney scorch Hurricanes

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The final stage of the Women’s Big Bash League is going to the wire as teams are fighting their way to the top four. A thrilling five-wicket victory for Sydney Thunder on Saturday (November 21) meant that Perth Scorchers had to win to keep themselves alive in the tournament. Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney made as a statement with their batting performance as they registered a ten-wicket victory against Hobart Hurricanes.

Sydney Thunder v Adelaide Strikers

Knowing that it is a must-win game, the Thunder openers Tammy Beaumont and Rachel Trenaman got them off to a good start, hitting boundaries in every over. The duo added 44 runs before Sarah Coyte dismissed Beaumont for 20-ball 23.

When Trenaman and Sammy-Jo Johnson tried to continue the momentum, Darcie Brown and Amanda-Jade Wellington provided the Strikers with regular breakthroughs. Thunder were stuttering at 103 for four after 15 overs.

Joined by the youngster Phoebe Litchfield, Rachael Haynes went after the Strikers bowlers and took the Thunder close to the target before getting out to Wellington in the penultimate over. Litchfield ensured that the Thunder reached the target with two balls to spare.

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Earlier, having asked to bat, the Strikers lost their opener, Tahlia McGrath, early yet again. Shabnim Ismail then removed the dangerous Laura Wolvaardt with a short-pitched delivery.

Katie Mack and Stafanie Taylor led the rebuild as the former reached her half-century in 45 balls. They added 71 runs together before Taylor was run out for 33 from 29 deliveries.

Just when the Strikers tried to accelerate in the death overs, Thunder bowlers kept it tight and picked up a series of wickets. The Strikers went from 124 for four to 133 for six in the last ten deliveries. Johnson was the pick of the bowlers for the Thunder as she took three wickets giving away 25 runs in her four overs.

Perth Scorchers v Hobart Hurricanes

With the Thunder trumping Strikers earlier in the day, Perth Scorchers knew that they have to win both their remaining matches for qualification. Sophie Devine, who was coming back from injury, and Beth Mooney did not waste any time to get the chase going.

They picked the bad balls and dispatched them to boundaries while keeping the scoreboard moving with singles and doubles. They added 38 runs in the first six overs before cutting themselves loose.

Devine smashed Amy Smith for a massive six over long-on and put her out of rhythm. They scored 21 runs off that over including a no-ball and a boundary off the last ball by Mooney.

The Scorchers skipper brought up her half-century in 36 balls with back-to-back boundaries off Nicola Carey. Mooney, at the other end, was happy to play second fiddle as Devine continued her mayhem.

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The Scorchers cruised to the target in 14.4 overs as Devine hit a boundary and six off Chloe Tryon. She finished with 87 off 53 balls, and Mooney remained unbeaten with a 36-ball 48.

After opting to bowl, Taneale Peschel provided the early breakthrough for the Scorchers as she has done throughout the tournament. She dismissed Rachel Priest and Nicole Bolton followed with the wicket of Corinne Hall in the power play.

Nicola Carey, along with Tryon then tried to build a partnership. With the latter struggling to get going, Carey took the attack to Scorchers bowlers. They added 50 runs in 45 balls before Samantha Betts removed them both in the same over. Carey made a 31-ball 36 and Tryon scored 11 off 22 balls.

The Hurricanes lost Naomi Stalenberg shortly after, courtesy to a run-out, and they were struggling at 95 for five in the 16th over. Some big hits towards the end by Emma Thompson, who made 33 from 23 balls, helped them get to 134/6 at the end of 20 overs.

Brief Scores;

Sydney Thunder 133/5 in 19.4 overs (Rachel Trenaman 38, Rachael Haynes 30, Amanda-Jade Wellington 3/33) beat Adelaide Strikers 132/6  in 20 overs (Katie Mack 58, Stafanie Taylor 33, Sammy-Jo Johnson 3.25) by five wickets. POTM: Sammy-Jo Johnson

Perth Scorchers: 140/0 in 14.4 overs (Sophie Devine 87,  Beth Mooney 48) beat Hobart Hurricanes 134/6 in 20 overs (Nicola Carey 36, Emma Thompson 33, Samantha Betts 2/24) by ten wickets. POTM: Sophie Devine

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