Needing six runs from the final over, the scores were tied with three balls left but Bridget Patterson was then bowled, leaving next batter Megan Schutt needing to score at least a single off one of the two final balls.
Schutt didn’t plan on leaving it to the last ball, however, taking a risky quick single to mid-on and forcing a fumble to ease the Strikers past the Scorchers’ total of 9/87.
Captain Suzie Bates had guided the Strikers through their innings against her old WBBL side, reduced to 16 overs after a late start because of the impact of Friday’s thunderstorm and some more heavy rain in the morning at Traeger Park.
Clearly struggling with the heat later in her unbeaten 49, Bates had added 31 runs for the third wicket with Tahlia McGrath to edge the Strikers close to their target.
But the loss of McGrath, bowled by Katherine Brunt for 19, and two dot balls to finish the over set up the tense finish
Bates then scored two, two and a single to level the scores and watched from the other end as Patterson was bowled trying to sweep, leaving Schutt to finish the job.
“It’s nice to be there at the end to make sure we got home,” said player-of-the match Bates, who missed the presentation of the new Faith Thomas Trophy after suffering from “jelly legs” late in the innings.
“I haven’t made as many runs as I would have liked in the last couple of games so it’s nice to just to some runs and contribute to the win.”
Having sent the Scorchers into bat first, the Strikers had early success with Schutt bowling her Australian team-mate Elyse Villani with the last ball of her opening over, for two.
Sophie Devine also snared a wicket in her first over, bowling English allrounder Natalie Sciver with a yorker to have the Scorchers 2/22 after four overs.
Nicole Bolton was next to go, caught by McGrath at mid-off off Bates for 10.
McGrath was again influential, taking the wicket of former Striker Lauren Ebsary with her first ball at the start of the tenth over and then running out Brunt with a direct hit off her own bowling to have the Scorchers 5/50 with six overs to play.
She also dismissed Heather Graham and Chloe Piparo, assisted by sharp stumpings from Tegan McPharlin, to finish with 3/17 from three overs to help the Strikers avoid a late blow-out in their target.
Strikers opener Tammy Beaumont was given out leg-before-wicket on the first ball she faced in the opening over of the chase but Bates and Sophie Devine (18) absorbed the pressure.
The teams meet again in Alice Springs on Sunday afternoon.