It was ecstasy and agony for Lizelle Lee and Mignon du Preez as their 96-run partnership came to nought when the Perth Scorchers beat the Melbourne Stars by nine wickets in the Women’s Big Bash League.
Lee scored 76 off 62 balls, with eight fours and three sixes, while Du Preez added 40 off 35 (5×4), helping the Stars to 163-4 on Boxing Day.
But the Stars’ momentum stalled when both were dismissed off successive balls from off-spinner Emma King, when they were on 124-2 in the 17th over.
It seemed a competitive total, but Scorchers openers Elyse Villani (84 not out) and Nichole Bolton (67) ran up 140 in 17 overs to break the back of the chase.
Du Preez was in form in the return fixture the following day, with 23 off 17, the best strike rate of the innings at 135, as the Stars scored 149-6 (to which Lee contributed nine). The Scorchers were restricted to 137-4 despite Viliani scoring 72 off 44 balls (10×4).
Earlier, Marizanne Kapp won the player of match award with figures of 1-11 off four overs as Sydney Sixers beat Hobart Hurricanes by nine wickets with 37 balls remaining.
Her Proteas captain, Dane van Niekerk, fresh from her hat-trick against the same opposition a week earlier, took 2-18; the two Saffas conceding 29 runs from eight overs. The Hurricanes were blown away for 98 and the Sixers had no trouble reaching that target.
Van Niekerk sits at second on the wicket-takers log with eight wickets from five matches behind Katherine Brunt (10). The Sixers top the log with four wins from five matches.