Heather Graham is a new star in the making. She starred in both a win as well as in a losing cause. She was the heart of both Scorchers’ bowling and the batting attack.
Lanning alongside Villani inspired the Scorchers to post a total of 172 in the Sunday’s match.
In the First match against the Hurricanes, the Scorchers couldn’t restrict the run flow by which the Hurricanes posted a mammoth total of 172.
The Hurricanes batters contributed equally with their short stints, among whom Mandhana was the top scorer who struck 38 runs of 23 balls. Bolton ran through the middle-order, while Graham picked two top-order wickets. Scorchers were put to chase a huge target to chase. They lost their opening batter Jones early, while Villani’s valiant knock of 41 came to an end as she misjudged the line when the ball spun across her bat and the leading edge cost her wicket.
Graham took up batting duty with spirited gameplay as Scorchers found themselves in deep trouble by losing 3 quick wickets in the form of Bolton, Ebsary and Kate Cross.
Using her fierce attacking style well to contribute to 172, the game would end in a draw and lead to a Super Over end.
Hepburn was picked to bowl for Hurricanes, while the experienced Bolton and Captain Villani placed a shield.
Their vital contribution and sharp insight into the field placement enabled them to put a decent score of 17 in the allotted overs.
But eventually, as one would find it, Hurricanes’ approach of ‘smash every ball red, blue and pink’ wouldn’t work.
Eventually, as Graham smartly ousted the experienced Knight and Mandhana quickly, the Hurricanes would fall short by 7 runs. Graham’s heroics with her all-round performance have given the Scorchers their third win of the season.
In the first of the dual-playoff, Renegades stunned Scorchers with their one-way assault to defeat the Perth Scorchers. Tahuhu sent back both the opening batters Lanning and Villani under 5 overs. Jones after putting up a fighting partnership of 43 runs, returned back adding more trouble to the team. Bolton and Ebsary lost their plot completely as they fell cheaply in quick succession. Heather Graham’s fighting knock had to end in the 20th over by the spin attack of Molineux.
Put to chase an easy target, Renegades were again vulnerable to Spin, as they lost 6 wickets in a bid to chase the target. However, they lost 4 quick wickets in a span of 15 runs, Bolton caused the minor scare with her bowling tactics as she picked 3 wickets in the match. Graham picked 2 wickets. Jessica Duffin top scored with a short stint of 35 runs. Heather Graham received her 2nd consecutive player of the match award for her all-round performance.
In the Sunday’s bash, Renegades were short of the intensity that they fought earlier against the Scorchers. Captain Meg Lanning and her deputy Villani posted a huge total of 172 with their fifties. They put a 143-run opening stand that left the bowlers in dismay. Lanning who started her innings slowly began to pick up the pace in the twelfth over. Her shots all across the field made bowlers to dig hard. Lanning also stuck two Sixes off Tahuhu’s over to bring up her Fifty. Villani struck 3 fours in the over of Starno, that boosted the run rate. Renegades bowlers leaked as many as 19 extras, whose chances of redemption never arrived in the match since then.
Wyatt began to find her form in this match when she scored a quick knock of 42 but would soon give a return catch to Peschel. Satterthwaite and Duffin played compelling knocks, yet they were short of 15-runs. Lack of consistency among the batters costed the Renegades this loss. Meg Lanning was adjudged the Player of the Match for her fascinating knock of 75.
PERRY’S 2ND TON THIS SEASON LEAVES HEAT IN TURMOIL
Perry has smashed records by bringing up her second hundred off just 64 balls, this, however, became even spectacular as she got to her hundred by smashing a four in the fine leg region off the last ball of the last over. This finish was a repeat of how she hit her first ton earlier this season. She is the first player to hit two hundred in a single season of the WBBL tournament. She equalled Grace Harris record of hitting two 100’s in the Big Bash League. Harris now holds the record for the fastest hundred.
Perry’s sole assault left bowlers in a debacle. Kimmince was the pick among the bowlers, while rest of the bowling attack’s economy shot up to over 7 R.P.O and above with her fascinating stroke play and five sixes with the majority of the runs toward the leg region.
Having lost its in-form batter Grace Harris early, Sammy-Jo Johnson and Mooney put up a fifty-run partnership, after their departure, they lost quick wickets and failed to build a partnership to sneak through the winning runs. Heats fell short of 11 runs as they were restricted in the middle overs and from the tenth over to the fifteenth over that took the match away from them. Sixers only leaked 29 runs in the 6 overs to pull out a narrow win.
Perry was adjudged the Player of the Match for her match-winning knock of 103*.
BOWLER’S REVIVAL ASSISTS THE HEATS TO TRIUMPH OVER THE STARS AND SIXERS
The Melbourne Stars were sent packing as they were restricted to an average score of 132 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. Veteran spinner Jess Jonassen removed the dangerous Lizelle Lee, Mack and Elwiss. She led the spin attack, the other bowler like Johnson, Haris and Barsby.
With an easy target to chase, Grace Haris started her innings in the fourth gear. She kept the guns blazing, those straight hits or the slog sweep were damaging every bowler. She struck 24 runs in the over of Reakes and she bought her hundred with a Six over long-on. She holds the record for the fastest Hundred in WBBL and the highest number of Hundreds in the tournament. Later Perry equalled her record in the next match against the Brisbane Heat. She broke the previous record held by Ashleigh Gardner who stuck Hundred of just 52 balls to bring the fastest ton ever.
In the Sunday’s clash, Heat broke the Sixers five-match winning-streak as they were bowled for the lowest score of 88 this season.
Having won the toss, Heats opted to bat first. Having lost some early wickets, Johnson and Jonassen held the fort to put up a competitive total of 154 runs on board. Johnson scored her 1st fifty this season and the spin wizard composed a well made 40. Rest of the team struggle to contribute, while the decisions to push Wolvaardt down the order doesn’t seem to yield results since then.
Put to chase an achievable target, Sixers top-5 fell one after the other as they could only contribute 21 runs for the team. Niekerk brave effort for recovery from the shackles was again halted by Birkett.
Johnson again sparkled with her pace attack that left Gardner wandering with a terrific inside edge that crashed the stumps. Sixers were reduced to 34-5 at one stage and from there they had no chance of recovery. Brilliance by Kimmince and the consistent Barsby added to the woes of the Sixers as they were bowled out for 88 runs and the Heats bowler’s revival paved its path to glory. They are in the third spot on the points tally with this win.
Johnson is awarded as the Player of the match for her outstanding effort both with the ball and bat.
THUNDER WIN FOUR IN A ROW TO TOP THE POINTS TALLY
Thunders continued its winning streak of 4 matches, to move to the top of the table. Sixers moved to the second spot with the crushing defeat to Heat on Sunday.
Hobart Hurricanes lost its third match this week, as they were restricted to an average score of 153 on board. Taylor picked three wickets to push them deep into trouble, while Farrell and Bates together picked 4 wickets among them. Mandhana’s fiery knock was cut short by a stunning catch by her Indian counterpart Harmanpreet Kaur. Fazackerley and Knight tried to rebuild from the rubble but both of their innings were cut short by Taylor’s brilliance with her off-break. The ball sneaked through the batter’s willow.
Haynes returned to the squad after a short break owing to work burden due to the packed schedule since the Pakistan series.
Haynes had to return early due to the mistimed lofted shot, later, Priest and Stalenberg put up a buoyant stand of 74 runs under 7 overs. Stalenberg brought her first fifty and also came back to form in this season. Blackwell and Taylor brought the winning runs to bring Thunder its four consecutive win and fith win overall this season.
Stafanie Taylor was rewarded with the Player of the Match honours for her 3-fer and the unbeaten 20.
STARS PULL OUT A CLOSE WIN IN THE LAST OVER, AS DEVINE SENDS BOTH BATTERS AND BOWLERS PACKING WITH STELLAR All-ROUND SHOW
Stars managed to escape with a narrow win against the Strikers and Osborne led the team by example both as a captain and an all-rounder. He unbeaten knock of 54 was the key for the chase of 144.
Devine and McPharlin composed knock of 46 and 41, respectively, to push the total to 144. Osborne and Alana King picked two wickets apiece. Stars executed two runouts. Surprisingly, Strikers dint strike a half a dozen during their inning.
Lizelle Lee, overcoming the T20 World Cup disappointment aggressively shot up her innings in her style, which was just when Sophie Devine struck to give Strikers their second dismissal.
Osborne’s innings could be seen as a perfect stint that anyone could witness, as the others around her fell like nine pins. But it would be Osborne’s doggedness that would eventually prevail. Alana King would hit a six toward the deep mid-wicket region to collect the winning runs.
And for that spectacular jewel, Osborne was adjudged the Player of the match for her all-round brilliance.
In the second match of the dual playoff, Sophie Devine and Patterson’s fifties powered the Strikers to a massive score of 172. Devine missed her hundred when Hancock dismissed her with a simple catch by Mack.
Patterson also brought her first fifty this season. Sutherland was the pick among the bowlers with an economy under 6 and picking up a wicket.
Devine once again starred with the ball as her fifer as the Stars were reduced to 153 runs for the loss of 9 wickets. Coyte and Hazell were economical. And getting on with a good score in WBBL 2018 finally, Mignon du Preez, the ever-smiling and pleasing sight with the bat finally top scored with a 33, but it was well short of a winning score.
Devine was named the Player of the match for a match-winning 90 and 5/41.
Points tally saw big changes this week, as Thunder topped the charts while Sixers moved a place down in WBBL 2018
Heat’s two wins this week powered them to reach the third spot on the table.
Ellyse Perry topped the batting charts with her sensational batting spree as she recorded her 2nd hundred this season.
The consistent Heather Graham heroics has proved that she is the next evolving all-rounder made for the International arena. Her all-round skills both with the bat and ball have given Scorchers the much-needed boost. Johnson and Taylor have occupied the next positions in the bowling chart.
Grace Haris showed her ability to go aerial and her 2nd Hundred in WBBL left the Stars stunned.
Many revivals, change of plans helped certain teams like Brisbane Heat to beat.
Local recruits like Osborne, Graham and Johnson with their exceptional all-round abilities have won matches for their respective teams. That said, the WBBL 2018 has once again lived up to being one of the strongest contests for showcasing unmatched talent in the women’s game from all over. One would hope this would continue going forward as well in what lies ahead.