Patient Verma guides Sixers home; Scorchers stage comeback in Super Over Sunday

Shajin Mohanan S
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Patient Verma guides Sixers home; Scorchers stage comeback in Super Over Sunday

Shafali Verma (L) and Perth Scorchers © Getty Images

Shafali Verma batted through most of the innings to score a patient fifty to headline the tricky chase against Hobart Hurricanes at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Sunday (October 17). Earlier a collective bowling performance from the Sydney Sixers restricted the Tasmania side to 125 for nine from their 20 overs. In the second match, Perth Scorchers came back from behind to force Brisbane Heat to a collapse and took the game into the Super Over. Skipper Sophie Devine clinched the match with two big hits in the Super Over off her opposite number Jess Jonassen.

Chasing a moderate target against Hurricanes, Verma saw her opening partner Alyssa Healy getting dismissed by a quicker one from Tayla Vlaeminck in the second over. Sixers were two down in no time when they lost Ashleigh Gardner to Molly Strano with only 14 runs on the board.

However, Ellyse Perry joined Verma in the middle even as the India batter struggled against the pace of Vlaeminck. Despite looking scratchy, Verma chose to stick around and found a way against the Hurricanes’ bowlers. She backed away and carved Vlaeminck through point for her first boundary.

At the other end, Perry found it comfortable as she hit Belinda Vakarewa for her first four before sweeping Strano for another boundary. The duo took Sixers to 39 at the end of the power play.

Meanwhile, Verma moved around the crease and scooped Vlaeminck for another four in her third over. She also drove Vakarewa hard through long-on for a four after the pair brought up their fifty-run partnership in the tenth over.

Just as it looked like the international duo would take Sixers home without any further hiccups, Strano struck again when she dragged Perry out of the crease only to be stumped by Rachel Priest for 27 off 33 balls.

From there, with Sixers needing 24 from the last three overs, Verma opened up while Nicole Bolton provided her support. Another scoop of the bowling off Vlaeminck got the 17-year-old to her maiden WBBL fifty in her second innings in the competition. Two more boundaries came in the over, reducing the target to just nine from the last two overs.

There was still some fight left in Hurricanes with Strano finishing off her impressive spell with the wicket of Verma as the right-hander fell for 57 off 50 balls. Sixers survived a few anxious moments before Maitlan Brown got them home with three balls to spare.

For Hurricanes, Strano was the most successful bowler with figures of three for 13 from her four overs.

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Earlier, put into bat, Hurricanes got off to a terrible start losing big wickets of Priest and Mignon du Preez inside three overs. Priest cut one delivery from Perry straight to Gardner at point, while Radha Yadav pulled off a stunner to send du Preez back for just one. Ruth Johnston hit two boundaries before she was dismissed for ten by Perry with the final ball of the power play.

From 26 for three, Richa Ghosh and Carey took their time to resurrect Hurricanes’ innings. Ghosh was on 11 off 22 at one stage, but she finally got going with a six off Radha. She took on Brown as well when she launched the right-arm pacer over long-off for another six. The India wicket-keeper then repeated the same shot against Bolton for her third maximum of the innings.

Hurricanes needed the duo to kick on, but they lost Carey and Naomi Stalenberg in quick succession. It was Sasha Moloney’s cameo that provided some impetus to the innings at the backend. After losing Moloney and Ghosh in the 18th over bowled by Radha, a couple of blows from Strano took the Hobart side to 125 for nine from their 20 overs.

In the second match, it eventually came down to a Super Over after Heat's extra-ordinary collapse. Scorchers chose to bowl Marizanne Kapp, but her South African counterpart Anneke Bosch took on her and to hit two boundaries leaving Scorchers to get 13 to win the Super Over and the match. Devine hit first ball bowled by Jonassen straight over her head and repeated the feat in the fourth ball to take her side home.

Earlier, Scorchers got out of blocks quickly with Devine cutting Nicola Hancock over point for a maximum in the second over before hitting Nadine de Klerk for consecutive boundaries. With 25 runs coming from the first three overs, skipper Jess Jonassen provided Heat with the breakthrough removing Devine for 19 off 12.

Devine’s loss didn’t slow down Scochers with Beth Mooney and Chamari Atapattu forming a quick 42-run partnership for the second wicket. Mooney continued her good form from the India series as she punished Poonam Yadav for consecutive boundaries. Coming from the hiatus of more than 500 days, Atapattu pulled Grace Harris over deep square-leg for a six before she became Jonassen’s second wicket.

Post her dismissal, Mooney hit Harris over long-on for a maximum, but Scorchers lost two quick wickets – that of Mooney and Kapp – to reduce themselves to 87 for four. They lost one more wicket in the form of Heather Graham before they reached the three-figure mark.

A few boundaries from Alana King and Chloe Piparo took Scorchers to 137 for seven from their 20 overs. For Heat, Jonassen was the best bowler on display as she picked up three wickets giving away just 16 runs from her four overs.

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In reply, Harris gave Heat a rapid start as she pulled and cut Kapp for two boundaries in the first over before driving Taneale Peschel through extra-cover in the second. Georgia Redmayne joined her in taking the attack to the Scorchers when she hit Devine for three fours from four deliveries in the fourth over.

However, Devine had the last laugh as she dismissed Redmayne in the same over to break the 42-run opening partnership. Even as Jonassen took her time, Harris continued her aggressive ways to make sure that Heat kept up with the required run rate.

In the ninth over, Jonassen slog swept King over deep mid-wicket for a maximum, while Harris bettered it with two consecutive big ones off Lilly Mills in the next over. With Mills getting Jonassen in the same over, Devine brought Kapp back for her fourth over and was rewarded with the wicket of Harris for a well-made 41 off 27 balls.

At that stage Heat needed only 46 runs from 51 balls, although Georgia Voll hit a six off Graham, she was caught at deep mid-wicket by Graham when she tried to repeat the same against King. Only 13 runs came from 15 balls in this phase leaving Bosch and Laura Kimmince to get 33 from last six overs.

From there, both Kimmince and Bosch hit one boundary to each. They were looking on course to take Heat home when King pulled off a stunner off her own bowling to dismiss Kimmince. Free fall continued for Heat when Mills accounted for Mikayla Hinkley for one off five.

Bosch hit one more boundary before Graham sent her back in the next over leaving Heat to get ten runs from six balls. Young Mills was given the responsibility of bowling the last over and despite Nadine de Klerk hitting a boundary off the first ball, she kept her composure to dismiss Georgia Prestwidge for a duck. De Klerk was run out at the non-striking end in the fifth ball. Mills couldn't collect the ball as Heat completed two runs in the final delivery to take the match to the Super Over.

Brief Scores:

Hobart Hurricanes 125/9 in 20 overs (Richa Ghosh 46, Sasha Moloney 22; Ellyse Perry 2/9, Maitlan Brown 2/23) lost to Sydney Sixers 129/5 in 20 overs (Shafali Verma 57, Ellyse Perry 27; Molly Strano 3/13) POTM: Shafali Verma

Perth Scorchers 137/7 in 20 overs (Beth Mooney 40, Chloe Piparo 20; Jess Jonassen 3/16, Poonam Yadav 2/25) tied  Brisbane Heat 137/9 in 20 overs (Grace Harris 41; Lilly Mills 3/28, Alana King 2/23) Perth Scorchers won the match in the Super Over POTM: Alana KIng