Scorchers continue unbeaten run in WBBL08 as Stars go down in last over thriller

Shajin Mohanan S
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Scorchers continue unbeaten run in WBBL08 as Stars go down in last over thriller

Perth Scorchers continue their winning run © Getty Images

Perth Scorchers continued their unbeaten run and Melbourne Stars succumbed to their third defeat from as many matches in a game dominated by the bowlers at the WACA in Perth on Thursday (October 20). Tess Flintoff’s all-round efforts for Stars went in vain as the hosts snuck home to a win with two balls to spare.

On a night where the bowlers dominated, needing 111 to win, Scorchers’ chase was off to a disastrous start with Kim Garth accounting for their skipper Sophie Devine with the first ball. Garth then bowled an unplayable delivery to dismiss Chloe Piparo in the third over.

From there, Beth Mooney and Maddy Green added 34 runs for the third wicket despite struggling against the bowling lineup of Stars. Flintoff, continued her good day, and bowled a few tight overs to support Garth. Nicole Faltum also made use of the off spin of Sasha Moloney to keep the Scorchers batters on a tight leash.

Flintoff was eventually rewarded for her efforts with the wicket of Green and Marizanne Kapp – playing in her 100th WBBL match – nicked one down the leg-side to Faltum as Scorchers were reduced to 48 for 4. Mooney stepped down the track to get singles and also managed to hit five boundaries during her innings.

Just when it looked like Mooney would take Scorchers home safely, Moloney got rid of the set batter after the southpaw survived a close LBW shout off Alice Capsey. When Annabel Sutherland got into the action with a couple of quick wickets, it seemed like Stars are in the ascendancy with Scorchers still needing 37 runs for a win with only three wickets in hand.

However, Amy Edgar and Piepa Cleary rallied around with a few boundaries down the ground to add 33 runs for the eighth wicket. With three fours coming from Flintoff’s final over, the target was reduced to 14 off 18 balls. Capsey bowled tight 18th over, but Edgar hit Garth down the ground for another four.

Even though she was run out with the final ball of the penultimate over, Edgard had done enough for Scorchers and Cleary took them home with a couple of balls to spare.

For Stars, Flintoff and Garth picked up two wickets apiece. While Mooney’s innings in difficult batting conditions earned her the player of the match award.

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Earlier, put into bat, Stars didn’t have the greatest of starts either. The innings started with a golden duck from Lauren Winfield-Hill and Taneale Peschel could have had two in the same over if Capsey wasn’t dropped in the slips. Jemimah Rodrigues in her debut match for Stars didn’t last long either and walked back for a five-ball duck.

From there, Sutherland tried her best to resurrect the innings with a run-a-ball 31. But once she fell, there was a procession of wickets with Cleary and Lilly Mills running amok. Stars went from 52 for 3 to 55 for 7 and looked on their way to be skittled out before 100.

But Flintoff had other ideas; she started patiently even as wickets fell in clusters at the other end. She found some able company in Sophie Reid and the duo added 51 runs for eighth wicket.  The-19-year-old Flintoff took on Peschel in her final over and hit the seamer for a boundary and a six to help Stars lend some respectability to their innings.

Flintoff’s unbeaten 40 meant Stars batted out the full quota of overs and finished on 110 for 9.

For Scorchers, Peschel, Cleary and Mills took two wickets apiece and eventually their performance was instrumental in the hosts’ third win from as many matches.

Brief Scores: Melbourne Stars 110/9 in 20 overs (Tess Flintoff 40*, Annabel Sutherland 31; Piepa Cleary 2/8, Lilly Mills 2/15) lost to Perth Scorchers 111/8 in 19.4 overs (Beth Mooney 35, Amy Edgar 21; Annabel Sutherland 2/20, Kim Garth 2/23) POTM: Beth Mooney