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Match Report: Strikers v Thunder

21 November 2020

The Adelaide Strikers' finals hopes are all but dashed, losing a must-win clash with the Sydney Thunder at Drummoyne Oval on Saturday afternoon.

Entering the match sitting in sixth place on the rebel WBBL ladder, the Strikers required a win against the Thunder to keep their top four dreams alive, before facing the Perth Scorchers in their final game. Mathematically, the Strikers remained in contention if either of the Thunder or Scorchers lost on Saturday, however both sides were victorious. 

 

Losing the flip and being sent into bat, opening pair Tahlia McGrath and Katie Mack looked settled in their roles, particularly after a season that has seen changes to the Strikers opening line-up. 

 

Katie Mack was the standout performer, claiming her second half-century this season, and the third in her WBBL career. The opener raced away to 58 from 52 deliveries and appeared at home at the top of the order. 

 

McGrath (12) was the first to give away her wicket, mistiming a shot to the fielder, before South African recruit Laura Wolvaardt (8), fell victim to the same fate.  

 

Stafanie Taylor (33) joined Mack at the crease for the strongest partnership of the day, as the pair slowly progressed the total forwards. Taylor, who appeared to struggle completing a run, called for the doctor however was cleared and continued alongside Mack, before a mix-up between the two resulted in a run-out. 

 

Amanda-Jade Wellington (13) produced a short cameo late in the piece, and at the close of a tumultuous 20 overs, the Strikers had set the Thunder a 134-run target.   

 

The Strikers struggled to break the opening partnership of Tammy Beaumont and Rachel Trenaman, with the first wicket falling at 1/44 on the final ball of the sixth over. It was Sarah Coyte who found the breakthrough, as she so often does, crashing through the stumps of Beaumont. 

 

A superb catch from Maddie Penna to claim the wicket of the ever-dangerous Sammy-Jo Johnson was the lift the Strikers needed. Rachel Trenaman followed shortly after, the first victim of Amanda-Jade Wellington, caught at mid-on by Alex Price, subbing in to replace Taylor in the field. 

 

The Strikers regained some self-confidence when threatening Thunder leading runscorer Heather Knight (9) was required to head back to the shed - a second scalp for Wellington, this time with the help of Wolvaardt. 

 

However, it was Thunder captain Rachael Haynes who proved the difference for her side, smacking 30 (from 23 deliveries), just as the Thunder looked as if they were dropping behind the required run rate. Wellington claimed her third when Haynes was caught out of her crease and McPharlin removed the bails, but the damage had been done. With the Thunder requiring just 8 from the final 8 deliveries, it was Phoebe Litchfield who secured the winning runs, with two balls remaining. 

 

The Strikers face the Perth Scorchers in their final match tomorrow morning, at North Sydney Oval.