The Adelaide Strikers’ hot run of form has ended at the hands of the Brisbane Heat on Saturday night, falling by four wickets in a thrilling contest in Mackay.
Aiming for a fifth consecutive victory and outright top spot on WBBL|09 ladder, the Strikers couldn’t deny the hosts in a tense final over under lights at Great Barrier Reef Arena.
Brisbane needed just four runs off the final over, but Strikers import Danielle Gibson bowled three consecutive dot balls to pile on the pressure late.
A boundary to Brisbane’s Bess Heath off the match’s penultimate delivery eventually sealed victory for the Heat.
Adelaide elected to bat first in the clash yet struggled to put a competitive total on the board.
Katie Mack (14) became just the fourth player to hit 1,500 WBBL runs for the club, but couldn’t make the most of her start alongside fellow opener Laura Wolvaardt (12).
Adelaide lost three wickets in the space of eight deliveries as the departures of Mack, Wolvaardt and captain Tahlia McGrath (0) left the visitors reeling at 3-31 after seven overs.
Returning from a quad injury for her 50th game as a Striker, Maddie Penna then helped revive Adelaide’s innings in her typically powerful style.
The right-hander crushed nine boundaries on her way to her fourth WBBL half-century and her highest Big Bash score.
Gibson provided some late fireworks in a crucial supporting role alongside Penna, pitching in with five boundaries of her own from just 17 balls faced to notch her own career-high WBBL score of 34*. The Englishwoman also smashed a huge six off the final delivery of the innings.
The pair combined for a crucial 66-run partnership to lift Adelaide to 4-137 at the innings break.
The Strikers started well with the ball courtesy of a rare run-out off a free hit to dismiss Brisbane’s Georgia Redmayne (nine runs), quickly followed the departure of the dangerous Grace Harris (10) inside the opening four overs.
Player of the Match Mignon du Preez settled her side however, crafting her second half-century of the tournament en-route to a game-high score of 60 from 49 deliveries.
Late wickets to Amanda-Jade Wellington (1-25) and Megan Schutt (2-29) gave Adelaide hope in the dying overs, but it proved too little, too late for the visitors.
The Strikers return to Adelaide’s Karen Rolton Oval for their next match against the Sydney Thunder on Wednesday, November 15 from 3pm.