Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur laid the platforms for the Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Thunder’s respective victories on Sunday in the Women’s Big Bash League.
India Women’s T20 captain, Harmanpreet Kaur, has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons – following her public dispute with veteran Mithali Raj – but she will be happy to have helped the Sydney Thunder Women to a comprehensive 28-run victory over the Brisbane Heat Women to take the Thunder to second on the log.
Batting at No 3, the Indian powerhouse smashed a breathtaking 56 off 26 balls, including six fours and three massive sixes. She will have been disappointed for losing her wicket in the final over, but her innings – alongside Rachel Priest’s 49 off 28 balls (6×4, 2×6) at the top of the innings – got the home team to a mammoth 192-4 in their 20 overs.
West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor (3.5-0-23-3) was destructive with the ball as she ripped through the Brisbane Heat’s middle order. Opener Grace Harris was the pick of the Heat batters with a spirited 54 off 28 balls, which included four fours and five fantastic sixes.
Maisy Gibson eventually dismissed Harris, ending the Heat’s fightback and finishing with figures of 3-18 in her three overs to help secure the win.
Sydney Thunder Women 192-4
Brisbane Heat Women 164 all out (18.5 overs)
Sydney Thunder won by 28 runs
Madhana also got her half-century against the Melbourne Stars as her 69 off 41 balls (13×4), along with West Indies’ Hayley Matthews 42 off 30 balls (four fours, two sixes) helped the Hurricanes to an imposing 196-6 in their allotted overs.
The Melbourne Stars batters felt the pressure from the first over as they lost the South African batting sensation Lizelle Lee (12 off 5 balls, three fours). Heather Knight was exceptional with the ball as her 3-10 in three overs reduced the Stars to just 124 all out within 17 overs, securing the Hurricanes first win of the tournament.
Hobart Hurricanes Women 196-6
Melbourne Stars Women 124 all out (16.5 overs)
Hobart Hurricanes won by 72 runs
The weather had the final say in the encounter between the Melbourne Renegades and the Adelaide Strikers, the match eventually being abandoned after a rain-interrupted affair.
After being inserted to bat first, the strikers managed just 83-4 in 14.3 overs before being forced off the park. The innings was abandoned and the Strikers were set a target of 78 runs in 11 overs using the DLS method.
The Strikers could only manage 27-2 in 4.3 overs before the heavens opened up once more. Three balls short of constituting a match, the encounter was eventually abandoned with the points shared between the teams.
Melbourne Renegades Women 83-4 (14.3 overs)
Adelaide Strikers Women 27-2 (4.3 overs)
Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images