Lizelle Lee supreme as hurricanes batter the stars

Lizelle Lee supreme as hurricanes batter the stars

Hobart Hurricanes 122 for 2 (Lee 77*, Carey 38*) beat Melbourne Stars 121 (Lanning 27, Strano 3-20, Carey 3-32) by eight wickets

Lizelle Lee shone with bat and gloves to inspire Hobart Hurricanes to an eight-wicket victory over Melbourne Stars and keep her team’s WBBL finals hopes alive.

The former South Africa star scored an unbeaten 77 off 49 deliveries after completing three hits in the field. After dismissing a disappointing Stars line-up for 121, the Hurricanes cruised to victory with 23 balls remaining at Allan Border Field.

Lee found a willing partner in Nicola Carey in an unbroken 99-run stand for the third wicket. Carey finished 38 not out off 41 balls.

Lee, 31, was in top form. She was dominant on the offside and was just as destructive on the leg side. The ball rocketed from the middle of Lee’s bat during a knock that included four sixes.

Earlier, Stars captain Meg Lanning produced a series of exquisite cuts and drives in a classy cameo at the top of the order but fell for 27 for 19.

Melbourne’s batsmen barely managed to get out of first gear. Just when they looked like they were going for it, they were ruled out with Maia Bouchier and Annabel Sutherland as prime examples after reaching 20 and failing to kick.

The Hurricanes had been sloppy on the field against the Brisbane Heat two days earlier at the same venue, but they bowled strongly and caught their passes. Lee was excellent behind the stumps and set the standard on the field.

Five bowlers were among the wickets, including Carey, who had a good match and recovered after suffering harsh treatment early on from Lanning.

Spinner Molly Strano cleaned up late, winning 3 of 20, as the Stars collapsed to lose 6 of 22 and were eliminated in the 20th.

The Hurricanes moved up to nine points on the WBBL ladder, four points behind fourth-placed Sydney Thunder.