Wolvaardt’s one-man show helps Strikers defeat Thunder

Wolvaardt's one-man show helps Strikers defeat Thunder

Adelaide Strikers 121 for 7 (Wolvaardt 70*, Kapp 2-23) beat Sydney Thunder 118 for 7 (Wilson 33, Schutt 2-23) by three runs

Adelaide Strikers have taken the outright lead in the WBBL standings after a rescue mission from opener Laura Wolvaardt set up a thrilling three-run win over Sydney Thunder.

Both teams were 4 for 2 at the start of their innings as the ball dominated the bat on Cricket Central. Wolvaardt’s class and composure in an unbeaten 70 made the difference after the Strikers were sent out.

She grafted as the wickets fell at the other end before unleashing death. The South African star combined with Megan Schutt to take 38 runs off the last three overs and lift the defending champions to 121 for 7, with Schutt taking 16 for 10.

The Strikers bowlers were brilliant from the start with Jemma Barsby dismissing the dangerous Chamari Athapaththu in the first over and Schutt trapping Phoebe Litchfield at deep cover trap in the second.

The hosts were wandering at 53 for 5 after 14 overs until Tahlia Wilson (33 off 23) and Sammy-Jo Johnson (26 not off 14) threatened to take their team home.

A clever last over from Anesu Mushangwe, where he conceded just five runs, secured the win and kept the Thunder at 118 for 7. Mushangwe finished with 2 for 24 from his four overs.

Australian bowler Darcie Brown returned from a hamstring injury for her first game of the WBBL season and found instant form by claiming 1 for 15 in four overs. She bowled 14 dot balls and gave up just one boundary.

Thunder looked good from the start. Marizanne Kapp’s opening innings was tailor-made. He caught Katie Mack at sinker on the first ball of the innings. The South African international hit the fifth delivery under the bat of Australian star Tahlia McGrath as the visitors made it 4 for 2.

The low bounce was utilized perfectly by the Thunder attack as they put on an accomplished display of stump-to-stump bowling at its finest. The Strikers were 47 for 4 after 10 overs, but Wolvaardt then stepped up to play the only substantial innings of the match.

The Strikers reached 18 points with the victory, two more than Perth Scorchers and three more than Thunder.