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Bridget Patterson struck 60 from just 32 balls.

REBEL WBBL|05

Patterson heroics fall just short

09 November 2019

It was so near yet so far for Adelaide Strikers as a sensational run chase launched by middle-order batter Bridget Patterson ended up just two runs short in a thriller against Perth Scorchers at Karen Rolton Oval.

Patterson thundered a stunning 60 from just 32 balls as the Strikers narrowly missed chasing down the Scorchers’ imposing 3/173 in a rebel WBBL|05 heartstopper on Saturday.

 

The Scorchers’ victory earned them the Faith Thomas Trophy contested between these rivals but won by the Strikers in the previous two seasons. Perth had its opening batters Amy Jones and Meg Lanning to thank for the crucial win as they shared what proved a decisive 141-run stand. Player-of-the-match Jones crunched 80 and Lanning made 64 but in the closing few overs, incredibly, it seemed like they may not have done quite enough.

 

Patterson, who had earlier this campaign made her highest WBBL score with a crucial unbeaten 57 in a win against Brisbane Heat in Mackay, passed that score as she threatened to snatch a Strikers win for the ages. 

 

Adelaide needed 38 from the last three overs and with big-hitting Kiwi superstar Sophie Devine just gone for a brilliant 58 from 50 balls, a win seemed clearly out of reach. But Patterson had other ideas as she thumped off-spinner Nicole Bolton over mid-wicket for two sixes in an over. She then cover drove and pulled Kim Garth for boundaries to keep the Strikers within sight of an unlikely win, needing 11 off the final over. When Patterson split the field at mid-on for a boundary from Heather Graham’s second ball, her team-mates were starting to believe in miracles. But it came down to the final ball, with four needed.

 

Patterson swept it sweetly but it went straight to Chloe Piparo at deep square-leg and she was run out attempting to get back for an impossible two. Patterson not surprisingly looked devastated, her career-best knock falling just short of handing her side a miracle win. But her 60, with six fours and three sixes, showed how far she has come as a batter and just how much damage she is capable of - and she will be back to again give her all at Karen Rolton Oval on Sunday, when the Strikers tackle Melbourne Stars in another crucial clash.

 

The Strikers slipped to third with a 4-3 win-loss record but the WBBL table has tightened right up, with Sydney Thunder on top with four wins, a loss and a no-result, followed by Brisbane Heat and the Strikers (4-3), Sydney Sixers (4-2), Melbourne Renegades (3-4) and the Scorchers (3-3).

 

A shot at a win looked a long way away as Jones and Lanning gave the Scorchers a stunning start, batting through the first 17 overs of their innings on their way to a 141-run partnership.

Strikers swing bowler Megan Schutt had Jones edging through slips, playing and missing and surviving a confident lbw appeal before she charged down the wicket to the world’s No. 1 T20 bowler and drove her straight and long for four.

 

English opener Jones took up the attack first, Aussie skipper Lanning prepared to take a back seat early on before also unleashing an impressive array of attacking shots. Jones used her feet to leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington, driving her for six and then she took to Strikers skipper Suzie Bates, pulling and cover driving boundaries.

 

Lanning had her moments early, surviving a French cut from Devine and playing and missing twice in a row off Sarah Coyte. But by the time she swept Coyte behind square-leg for four and square drove a boundary the next ball, she was in the zone.

 

Jones swept Wellington behind square for four to reach her half-century from 41 balls, then lofted an on-drive for another boundary. The pair’s 100-partnership came from just 13.3 overs and Perth was scorching towards a matchwinning total. Bates couldn’t quite haul in a one-handed catching attempt from Jones off Schutt on the boundary rope at mid-off and paid the penalty the next over, Jones hitting her for back-to-back fours and Lanning crunching her over cover for six. It took the Strikers 17.2 overs the break through, Jones falling to Devine having reached 80 from just 58 balls with nine fours and two sixes, brilliantly caught in the covers by a diving Lauren Winfield.

 

Devine was sporting a large splash of blue zinc across her face as she kicked off her Zinc Challenge, on Saturday raising money for Cancer Council SA while challenging players from opposing sides to show their colours and support their favourite cause.

 

Lanning fell to Tahlia McGrath to an even better catch from Bates, diving at mid-off, after making 64 from 50 balls with seven fours and a six.

 

It was up to the Smash Sisters Bates and Devine to give the Strikers a quick start and they did that, not necessarily crunching boundaries from the outset but hitting the odd fours and running hard for singles and twos. After seven overs the Strikers had reached 0/44, four runs better off than the Scorchers at the same stage. But, in trying to increase the tempo to stay up with a tough run chase, Bates was well caught low down at mid-wicket by Graham off Bolton for 23 from 25 balls.

 

McGrath, who blasted an unbeaten 65 from 46 balls to lift the Strikers to a seven-wicket win against the Scorchers in Brisbane a fortnight ago, knew she had to force the pace, trying to hit Taneale Peschel over the top but only managing to sky the ball to Bolton at mid-off, gone for three.

 

It seemingly was up to Devine, the biggest of big hitters in the WBBL, if the Strikers were to overhaul the Scorchers’ big total. And she was starting to wind up, hitting the ball sweetly and finding a great ally in Patterson, who was scampering for singles and turning ones into twos. She showed she could also find the boundary as she thumped Natalie Sciver over her head for four.

 

Devine pulled Sciver for four behind square-leg, swept Bolton for four and late cut and pulled Garth for boundaries, bringing up her 50 from 44 balls. But when the talented Kiwi tried to sweep Sciver, only to be deceived by a slower ball, she was bowled for 58 from 50 balls, a win looking out of reach. Patterson, though, was not willing to go down without an almighty fight.