Adelaide Strikers 121 for 7 (Wolvaardt 70*, Kapp 2-23) beat Sydney Thunder 118 for 7 (Wilson 33, Schutt 2-23) by three runs
Adelaide Strikers have taken the outright lead on the WBBL ladder after a rescue mission by opener Laura Wolvaardt set up a thrilling three-run win over Sydney Thunder.
Both sides were 4 for 2 early in their innings as ball dominated bat at Cricket Central. Wolvaardt’s class and composure in an unbeaten 70 proved the difference after Strikers were sent in.
She grafted as wickets tumbled at the other end before unleashing at the death. The South African star combined with Megan Schutt to take 38 runs off the final three overs and lift the defending champions to 121 for 7, with Schutt making 16 not out off 10.
The Strikers’ bowlers were brilliant early with Jemma Barsby dismissing dangerous Chamari Athapaththu in the first over and Schutt snaring Phoebe Litchfield in a deep cover trap in the second.
The hosts were meandering along at 53 for 5 after 14 overs until Tahlia Wilson (33 off 23) and Sammy-Jo Johnson (26 not out off 14) threatened to get their side home.
A crafty last over by spinner Anesu Mushangwe, where she conceded just five runs, clinched the win and kept the Thunder to 118 for 7. Mushangwe finished with 2 for 24 from her four overs.
Australian pace bowler Darcie Brown returned from a hamstring injury for her first WBBL game of the season and found instant form claiming 1 for 15 from four overs. She bowled 14 dot balls and gave up just one boundary.
Thunder looked good early. Marizanne Kapp’s opening over of the innings was made to order. She trapped Katie Mack plumb lbw first ball of the innings. The South Africa international snuck the fifth delivery under the bat of Australia star Tahlia McGrath to have the visitors 4 for 2.
The low bounce was utilised perfectly by the Thunder attack as they put in an accomplished display of stump-to-stump bowling at its best. The Strikers were 47 for 4 after 10 overs but Wolvaardt then stepped up to play the only substantial innings of the match.
The Strikers went to 18 points with the win, two clear of Perth Scorchers and three ahead of Thunder.