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WBBL 2023: Melbourne Stars Notch A Crucial Win vs Second Placed Perth Scorchers

Melbourne Stars presented themselves as tough competitors with a comprehensive win against the Perth Scorchers at the Women’s Big Bash League 2023 (WBBL 2023) at WACA Ground in Perth. Riding on a blistering knock of 73 by Sophia Dunkley and a crucial knock of 43 by Alice Capsey, the Stars posted a competitive 157/6 on the board.

With Perth Scorchers losing the plot by 33 runs, Amy Jones’ commendable knock takes centre stage but it was the Stars’ bowling performance that really stood out.

Melbourne Stars won the toss and decided to bat first in a decision that they would look back in hindsight and revel in. Sophia Dunkley and Maia Bouchier started off the proceedings for the Stars and were off to a flyer as Dunkley seemed to beautifully middle the ball.

The opening bliss did not last long as Bouchier was dismissed by Chloe Ainsworth in the 2nd over. Looking to build on a crucial partnership, youngster Alice Capsey joined her England teammate Sophia Dunkley and the two looked in fine touch in spite of blowing hot and cold this season. The duo not only complimented each other well but took off the pressure from the batting and kept a steady flow of runs coming in which was commendable to see nonetheless. Not only did they breeze through the powerplay but they ensured that the pressure was building on the bowling side.

Nat Sciver-Brunt had different ideas and she gave the much-needed breakthrough by getting rid of Alice Capsey for a well-played 43. The Stars still seemed to be at a healthy run rate and with Sophia Dunkley at the other end going out all guns blazing, they were looking for a big total on the board of the WBBL 2023 match.

Dunkley’s stay at the crease finally came to an end when she was dismissed for 73 off 48 by Piepa Cleary, a knock where she was striking at 152 and with the dismissals of Annabel Sutherland for 9 and losing Tess Flintoff and Sophie Reid for ducks, it was Nicole Faltum who gave that final impetus to the side with her cameo of 15.

She was ably supported by Kim Garth who scored 9 and the Stars ended at 157/6 in their 20 overs quota during the WBBL 2023 match. Cleary was the pick of the bowlers for the Scorchers scalping two wickets and with the other bowlers supporting her, it was going to be a fascinating run chase.

Scorchers were off to a tricky start losing their skipper in the WBBL 2023 match, Sophie Devine for a two-ball duck, it was Kim Garth who got the first breakthrough for the Stars. Adding to the agony for Scorchers was when the very next over saw Madeleine Darke undone by Annabel Sutherland. Before the duo of Beth Mooney and Nat Sciver-Brunt could find their footing, Sophie Day was into the attack and got the wicket of Mooney for 3.

Suddenly, the Scorchers were reeling at 19/3 in the 4th over and were losing momentum in the run-chase. Infusing some stability back in the batting was Nat Sciver-Brunt who partnered Amy Jones to sail through the trying times. But Sciver-Brunt’s dismissal for 24 meant that the Scorchers still needed some support for Amy Jones.

Chloe Piparo’s and Amy Edgar’s dismissals for scores of 6 and 15 did not help the cause and with Piepa Cleary getting out for 8, Amy Jones was stranded at the other end trying to make ends meet.

What perhaps was the game-changing moment in the thrilling match of the WBBL 2023 was Jones’ dismissal for 42 off 30 as Sophie Day got this crucial wicket. Even as Alana King and Chloe Ainsworth braved till the end, their stay did not help as the Scorchers succumbed to a 33-run loss.

For the Stars, it was Sophie Day who shone with the ball as she pocketed 4 wickets and with skipper Sutherland also grabbing two wickets, it was a comprehensive all-round performance for the Melbourne Stars.

WBBL 2023 Melbourne Stars vs Perth Scorchers Brief Scores

Melbourne Stars- 157/6 in 20 overs (Sophia Dunkley 73, Alice Capsey 43; Piepa Cleary 2/30) beat Perth Scorchers 124/ 9 (Amy Jones 42, Sophie Day 4/26) by 33 runs.

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