Want to be consistent and make those match-winning contributions: Heather Knight

Women's CricZone Staff
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Want to be consistent and make those match-winning contributions: Heather Knight

Heather Knight celebrates another half-century. © Getty Images

by just one run at the Hurstville Oval in Sydney on Sunday (November 8).

Having chosen to bat first, Thunder rode on Heather Knight's unbeaten 61 - her third half-century of the competition - to post a total of 129 for 7 on what looked to be a rather slow pitch. In reply, Hurricanes looked to be in cruise control when Rachel Priest and Nicola Carey were in the middle, before Knight led the fightback with the ball. The England skipper dismissed Carey and Hurricanes skipper Corinne Hall to shift the momentum in Thunder's favour, and deservedly picked up the player of the match award.

Speaking after the side managed to creep over the line after faltering in a similarly close game against Melbourne Renegades, Knight said she was relieved Thunder turned the tide so quickly.

"It was a great game of cricket, wasn't it? We managed to fight our way back into it with some really good bowling towards the back end of the innings. really delighted to get the win back on the board after what was quite a tough loss yesterday (against Renegades)," Knight said.

ALSO READ: Felt like old Renegades days, says Sophie Molineux after win over Sydney Thunder

With a total of 226 runs at an average of 56.5, and eight wickets to her credit, the 29-year-old has been at the forefront of Thunder's terrific run at the start of the tournament.

"I just feel in good nick," said the right-hand batter of her prolific form. "I didn't have the best Big Bash with the bat last year for Hobart, so I really wanted to come out here and be really consistent and make those match-winning contributions as much as I can. I am pleased with how it's gone so far and I just want to keep it going and keep contributing to team wins."

After struggling to get going in the loss against Renegades, Knight settled in to a good rhythm on Sunday before taking control of the innings. While admitting that runs were hard to come by once the ball got softer, thus hampering the team's quest to reach the 145-run mark, Knight credited the bowlers for showing heart and being able to defend a low target.

19-year-old allrounder, Hannah Darlington who defended nine runs off the final over, earned special praise from the England skipper.

"I thought Hannah Darlington, in particular, taking that last over on, brilliant from her - really good confidence booster for her."

"She's a brilliant bowler, but still very young. She is quite a mature youngster, so for her to take that on her shoulders and be successful is brilliant. There's some really good signs," she said.

Knight also pointed to the number of different players who have contributed to Thunder's wins over the last few weeks. She said, players have been stepping up whenever called upon, and put the side in a good position.

"It feels like there's different people contributing as well for the team. If someone doesn't have a great day there's other people stepping up to put in really strong performances, and that's what you need to be really successful in tournaments like this. Hopefully it keeps going. There's a really good vibe around the side as well, which is nice," she added.

With four wins in seven games Thunder are currently placed second in the table with 10 points - equal with Sydney Sixers - and a superior net run rate to their cross town rivals. They will next face defending champions Brisbane Heat in Blacktown on Wednesday (November 11).