Strikers make it three in a row

2 weeks ago 12
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Serious questions are being asked about the Hobart Hurricanes’ batting order after another disappointing display against the Adelaide Strikers.

    The Adelaide Strikers have continued an amazing 10-match winning streak over the Hobart Hurricanes in Mackay on Saturday with Darcie Brown firing.

    Brown’s 3-19 gave her side the impetus for the 48-run win. The winning streak now stands at almost six years, with Hobart’s last victory coming in December 2015 during the first edition of the WBBL.

    Hobart could manage just 94 in reply to 4/142 as the Strikers continue their charge towards finals with three straight wins now.

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    Albeit temporarily, the Strikers now sit outright fourth with momentum on their side after dropping four matches in a row not so long ago.

    Only three sides sit above them on the table, including the red-hot Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers, whom they meet next in the run home.

    With less than two weeks to go in the regular season, every win is crucial with a rejigged finals structure rewarding the highest-ranked team — the team that finishes at the top of the table earns a direct route to the decider.

    Brown, 18, renowned for challenging the 120 km/h mark, set the tone for the dominant bowling display. She now has 12 wickets for WBBL|07 including a hat-trick earlier in the tournament.

    Brown’s swing was particularly lethal at the Great Barrier Reef Arena and she said as much post-match.

    “Good to finally swing the ball a bit,” she said.

    “I didn’t have too much of an idea how much swing there was, until I got to the warm up and bowled a few balls, it was swinging a bit.”

    Australian swing bowler Megan Schutt, with 1-17, was just as outstanding from her four overs, just not with as many wickets to show.

    “It’s pretty special to have her back, she’s been great coming back into the group … we missed her a bit away on tour,” Brown said about Schutt.

    Brown and Schutt had a day to remember but the wicket proved more challenging for the batters, restricting both sides to lower totals than some that have been posted this tournament.

    “All of our batters found it a bit difficult to get going,” South African Laura Wolvaardt mentioned on the mic.

    A 17-run final over sprung the Strikers to 4/142. Captain Tahlia McGrath (38 not out from 37), Dane van Niekerk (44) and Bridget Patterson (25) made valuable contributions to eke out a competitive total.

    In reply, the highlights were many for the Strikers.

    South African leg-spinner van Niekerk’s sharp return catch off her own bowling and the lightning run-out of Australian all-rounder Nicola Carey (8) by Amanda- Jade Wellington (2-15) were among the highlights of Adelaide’s third-straight win.

    Strikers captain Tahlia McGrath (1-23) was also among the wicket-takers.

    The competition’s all-time leading wicket-taker Molly Strano (2-23) returned the best figures for the Hurricanes.

    Battle of the WBBL pace aces

    Mackay was graced with pace on Saturday afternoon.

    Two of the most exciting young speedsters in Australian cricket, the Hurricanes’ Tayla Vlaeminck and Strikers’ Darcie Brown, each challenged the speed gun for their respective sides.

    While 23-year-old Vlaeminck (1-16) challenged the 120 km/h marker far more, it was Brown who delivered, conceding less than five runs per over for her three wickets, including two in the all-important six-over Powerplay.

    “Deadly Darcie has done it again,” commentator Alister Nicholson remarked after the speedster crashed through the stumps to dismiss Indian teenager Richa Ghosh (4).

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