Strikers secure crucial victory against Sixers; Clinical Scorchers trump Stars

Katie Mack (L) , Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine (R) © Getty Images

Katie Mack’s highest WBBL score helped Adelaide Strikers get past Sydney Sixers in the Women’s Big Bash League points table with a six-wicket win on Wednesday (November 10).  Meanwhile, Perth Scorchers trumped Melbourne Stars by ten wickets, thanks to some clinical performance from their bowlers.

After opting to bat first, Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy added 29 runs in 23 balls together before the former got out for a 19-ball 24. Perry smashed back-to-back boundaries off Darcie Brown but was run out by Bridget Patterson on the very next delivery. 

Ashleigh Gardner was in for a shock as Darcie’s inswinger castled the top of the off-stump on the first ball she faced. Healy, who did not get much of the strike until then, managed to score eight runs off Tahlia McGrath’s over. However, she got out to Darcie in the next over as Strikers completed a team hat-trick. 

Nicole Bolton, joined by Shafali Verma, took some time to get her eye in. Verma, meanwhile, picked up a couple of boundaries in Darcie’s final over. The duo revived the innings, adding 84 runs for the fourth wicket.

Verma, who was moved down the order, played an unlikely anchor role before accelerating in the latter stages of the innings. She hit back-to-back boundaries off Megan Schutt, cruising to her second WBBL half-century in 40 balls.

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Sixers finished with 142 for four as Verma remained not out on 53 off 43 balls. Darcie was the pick of the bowlers for Strikers, taking two wickets for 34 runs.

Chasing close to seven runs per over, Strikers lost Dane van Niekerk early as Maitlan Brown returned the favour with the Brown-quota-of-inswinger for the day, cleaning up the stumps. 

Katie Mack and Laura Wolvaardt ensured that Strikers did not lose any momentum despite the early blow. They managed to pick up at least one boundary per over while rotating the strike consistently. 

When Gardner came into the attack, both Mack and Wolvaardt smashed a boundary each, taking the off-spinner out of the equation. Wolvaardt eventually got out to an unfortunate run out for 33 runs from 27 balls.

Skipper McGrath, on her 26th birthday, forged hands with Mack in the middle. The latter reached her half-century in 40 balls as Strikers were marching towards the target. 

They did not seem to have any trouble in hitting boundaries at will while keeping the scoreboard moving with singles and doubles. Strikers chased down the target in 18.4 overs. Mack finished with her highest WBBL score, an unbeaten 67 from 55 balls.

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Earlier, Scorchers won the bat flip and opted to bowl against Stars. The batting team was in for a horror start as Marizanne Kapp got rid of Meg Lanning early. With Annabel Sutherland and Maia Bouchier getting out in quick succession, Stars were reduced to 20 for three in the power play.

Elyse Villani and Kim Garth tried to rebuild the innings, but Alana King bowled a ripper that pitched on middle-and-leg and clipped the top of off-stump to dismiss Villani. 

Erin Osborne, Linsey Smith, Nicole Faltum walked back to the pavilion without causing much trouble. Garth and Tess Flintoff hung in for a while, picking up some crucial boundaries. Stars scrapped their way to 97 for eight in 20 overs after the duo got out.

Garth top-scored for Stars with a run-a-ball 31 while Sophie Devine, King and Heather Graham took a couple of wickets each.

In reply, Devine wasted no time in settling down, taking the attack to the Stars bowlers in the power play. With Mooney playing the anchor role at the other end, Scorchers finished with 44 for nil in the first six overs.

Mooney put her foot on the pedal, smashing three boundaries off Garth in an over. She brought up her 31st WBBL fifty as the Scorchers got across the line with 55 balls to spare. 

Brief Scores:

Sydney Sixers 142/4 in 20 overs(Shafali Verma 53*; Darcie Brown 2/34) lost to Adelaide Strikers 148/4 in 18.4 overs (Katie Mack 67; Maitlan Brown 1/30) by 6 wickets. 

Melbourne Stars 97/8 in 20 overs (Kim Garth 31; Sophie Devine 2/11) lost to Perth Scorchers 98/0 in 10.5 overs (Beth Mooney 57*; Sophie Devine 35*) by 10 wickets.