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WBBL 2023: Brisbane Heat Book Their Final Berth As They Defeat Sydney Thunder Convincingly

Brisbane Heat once again showed that they are a team from a different world as they not only made it to the Women’s Big Bash League 2023 (WBBL 2023) Final for the sixth consecutive time but also registered a convincing 22 runs victory over the Sydney Thunder at the Adelaide Oval.

Defending 160 without much fuss, they had a stellar bowling performance to ensure that the Sydney Thunder lost at their mercy. Winning the toss and taking the brave decision to bat first, the openers Georgia Redmayne and Grace Harris had a fine start and set the tone of the innings.

The first setback however was when Grace Harris was dismissed by Chamari Athapaththu in the 4th over. Getting into the act was Bess Heath who partnered Redmayne through that phase of the game and struck some lethal boundaries. While Heath soldiered on, Redmayne was out for a run a ball 21 as Samantha Bates got her caught and bowled.

Amelia Kerr and Bess Heath then batted with some poise and precision as they kept the scoreboard ticking with some crucial runs coming on board. But Marizanne Kapp had other plans, in the very same over she outfoxed the duo of Heath and Kerr dismissing them.

It was then Laura Harris and Mignon du Preez whose handy knocks made all the difference as they smashed 19 and 12 respectively at health strike rates and even as Lauren Smith and Sammy-Jo Johnson got them, a late cameo by Georgia Voll who scored 18 off 8, ensured that the Brisbane Heat posted a competitive 160/8 on the board in the WBBL 2023 game.

It was a more than decent batting effort by the Heat and as for the Thunder in the bowling department, Sammy-Jo Johnson struck with three wickets, Marizanne Kapp with two wickets and Samantha Bates, Chamari Athapaththu and Lauren Smith pocketed one each.

With a stiff total of 160 to chase during the WBBL 2023 game and the finals berth in contention, the duo of Chamari Athapaththu and Phoebe Litchfield got off to the finest possible starts. With the powerplay sealed, just as they looked to pounce further on the bowling Litchfield was the first to get dismissed as Nicola Hancock got the crucial breakthrough.

The 8th over saw skipper Heather Knight get out for 2 and Jess Jonassen was in the act as she got Athapaththu for 34 and suddenly, although the Thunder who seemed to have the run chase under control started losing the plot entirely. Marizanne Kapp and Anika Learoyd looked to build on a partnership and even got starts of 13 and 14 respectively.

But before they could bring out their attacking game, the experienced Aussie Jonassen got the better of them in the very same over. Olivia Porter was out for a quickfire 5 and with Tahlia Wilson and Sammy-Jo Johnson, there was a partnership blossoming but with the pressures of the asking rate, the dup chipped in with knocks of 16 and 10 before they succumbed.

Lauren Smith’s run out for 4 by Nicola Hancock was the final nail in the coffin as the Thunder was staring down the barrel with nine wickets having fallen in the thrilling WBBL 2023 match. Samantha Bates and Ebony Hoskin remained not out for 1 each and even with the 15 extras conceded by the Heat not coming in handy, the Thunder slipped to a 22-run loss.

Losing six wickets in a span of eight overs was far from ideal and a template batting collapse. It was a memorable bowling performance for the Heat who had Jess Jonassen scalp 4 wickets and was ably supported by Nicola Hancock and Courtney Sippel.

This win meant that the Heat would make their way into the final of the WBBL 2023 and the Thunder who are currently placed fourth on the table would need to pull off a massive win against the competitive Sixers in the Sydney derby to stay in contention.

WBBL 2023: Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder Brief Scores

Brisbane Heat 160 for 8 in 20 overs (Bess Heath 29, Georgia Redmayne 21, Sammy-Jo Johnson 3-39, Marizanne Kapp 2/26) beat Sydney Thunder 138 for 9 in 20 overs (Chamri Athapaththu 34, Phoebe Litchfield 23, Jess Jonassen 4-26, Nicola Hancock 2/22) by 22 runs.

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