Adelaide Strikers’ upward resurgence continued in this Women’s Big Bash League 2023 (WBBL 2023) as they sealed a commendable six-wicket win versus the Sydney Thunder at the Karen Rolton Oval. In this low-scoring match, a target of 119 was chased down with ease by the Strikers who had Anesu Mushangwe’s 2/29 and Bridget Patterson’s unbeaten 36 as the standout performances and the difference between the two sides.
The Strikers won the toss and decided to bowl first. They had the perfect possible start as the Zimbabwean Anesu Mushangwe with a double wicket maiden getting Tahlia Wilson (7) and the dangerous Phoebe Litchfield (0). Even as Chamari Athapaththu, the effervescent Sri Lankan who has been the torch-bearer of consistency through the season was finding it tough to get into her groove and go after the bowling.
Heather Knight was dismissed for 8 as Jemma Barsby got the better of her, and the Thunder fell to 32/3 in the thrilling match of WBBL 2023. To make matters worse McGrath bowled a maiden to Marizanne Kapp which further stifled the run scoring. As Athapaththu was out for a well-played 43, knocks of 27 respectively by Marizanne Kapp and Anika Learoyd helped the Thunder get 118/6 on board.
Megan Schutt and Anusu Mushangwe scalped two wickets each as Barsby and McGrath also chipped in with a wicket apiece. With the target of 119 set, Katie Mack and Laura Wolvaardt stabilised the ship with a great start to the run-chase and set a template for a characteristic run-chase. With boundaries at regular intervals and quick singles and doubles, the Strikers were on course to chase it down in the WBBl 2023.
Lauren Smith, however, had other plans as in her 8th over she struck twice getting rid of the settled Katie Mack for 26 and Tahlia McGrath for a golden duck and would have almost had a hat trick as she looked her fluent best. With Wolvaardt and Bridget Patterson sailing through this challenging phase of losing wickets in quick succession, the total was still within reach.
Even as Wolvaardt was out for 47 in the 16th over and Chamari Athapaththu surprised everyone with the wicket of Madeline Penna for a golden duck, the same over witnessed the Strikers comfortably seal the run chase. Patterson’s patient and calm 36* anchored the innings for the Adelaide Strikers and Lauren Smith with her 3/16 was the pick of the bowlers.
With this win, the Adelaide Strikers cemented their place at the second place with 14 points and the Sydney Thunder are fourth on the table at a close 13 points with an interesting finish on the cards to finish on top as the race to playoffs beckons in the WBBL 2023.
WBBL 2023: Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers Brief Scores
Sydney Thunder 118 for 6 in 20 overs (Chamari Athapaththu 43, Anika Learoyd 27*; Megan Schutt 2/25, Anesu Meshangwe 2/29) lost to Adelaide Strikers 119 for 4 in 17.5 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 47, Bridget Patterson 36*, Katie Mack 26; Smith 3-16, Chamari Athapaththu 1/20) by six wickets.