WBBL round-up: Shabnim Ismail secures Thunder’s semi-final, Alyssa Healy hits 48-ball ton as Sixers go out

Cricket

Sydney Thunder 4 for 116 (Knight 25, Carey 2-23) beat Hobart Hurricanes 9 for 115 (Moloney 39, Ismail 3-10) by six wickets

A devastating spell of fast bowling from Shabnim Ismail helped Sydney Thunder secure a WBBL finals spot with a six-wicket victory over last-placed Hobart Hurricanes in the final round of the season.

Ismail’s burst of pace in the Powerplay left the Hurricanes reeling at 3 for 4 in the third over. She removed Nicola Carey and Hayley Matthews in the first over after Rachael Haynes had won the toss and sent the Hurricanes in. Carey miscued a pull shot to square leg while Matthews played on trying to defend. Two overs later Chloe Tryon got a leading edge trying to flick off her pads and the sky ball was comfortably taken by Tahlia Wilson.

Ismail finished with 3 for 10 from four overs and the Hurricanes never really recovered. Rachel Priest and Sasha Moloney shared a 57-run stand but took 58 balls to do so. Hannah Darlington also claimed three wickets for the Thunder as the Hurricanes finished at 9 for 115 from their 20 overs.

The chase wasn’t completely smooth sailing but it was comfortable enough thanks to contributions from Heather Knight (25) and Tammy Beaumont (22). Phoebe Litchfield (24 not out) and Sammy-Jo Johnson came together at 4 for 81 and guided the side home comfortably to ensure the Thunder qualified for the finals while the Hurricanes finished last with just three wins.

Adelaide Strikers 6 for 159 (Wellington 48, Glenn 4-18) beat Perth Scorchers 7 for 156 (Mooney 60, Devine 57) by three runs

The Scorchers suffered a startling collapse as they wasted another century opening stand between Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney which left them needing to wait for the outcome of Stars verses Sixers to see if they secured a semi-final spot. They held a significant net run-rate advantage so it would take a huge swing in the Sixers’ favour to deny them but the way they couldn’t seal the chase from such a strong position raised questions about the middle order.

Devine again struck the ball with power and Mooney moved along effortlessly as the pair broke the back of the chase, following their unbroken 140-run stand the previous day, but from needed 42 off 37 balls things went badly wrong after Devine skied a catch to the keeper. It came down to needing nine off the last over bowled by Sarah Coyte and Jemma Barsby was run out off the first delivery. A boundary from the last ball would have earned a Super Over but it proved beyond Taneale Peschel.

It had been a fine innings from Amanda-Jade Wellington which transformed a stuttering Strikers innings and gave the Scorchers a tougher chase than appeared likely. She struck 48 off 25 balls after the top order had played solidly but without taking the game away from the Scorchers. Katie Mack skipped to 32 off 20 balls and Laura Wolvaardt completed her tournament with another compact innings while Sarah Glenn was again impressive with the ball.

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