78 A feast of Stars

Vil­lani proves Perth not a one-woman show

Sunday Herald Sun - - Cricket - CHRIS CAVANAGH

FOR­GET Weet-Bix.

Yes­ter­day, the break­fast of a cham­pion was ba­con and eggs.

Melbourne Stars opener Lizelle Lee re­vealed she had mixed up her reg­u­lar morn­ing rou­tine ahead of her side’s open­ing WBBL match of the sea­son against Sydney Six­ers — and it paid off in spades.

The big-hit­ting South African was un­stop­pable as she scored just the sixth cen­tury in WBBL his­tory with an un­beaten 102 at Junc­tion Oval, in­clud­ing 16 fours and three sixes.

In live bet­ting late in their in­nings, the Six­ers had been $1.01 to win, af­ter elect­ing to bat first, on their way to a more than re­spectable 7-165.

Fresh off Aus­tralian du­ties at the Women’s World T20 in the West Indies, Ell­yse Perry (58) and Alyssa Healy (70) had put on an open­ing part­ner­ship of 108 to set up that to­tal.

But the reign­ing cham­pi­ons fell short of their ex­pected tar­get as they lost three wick­ets for just nine runs from their last 20 balls — debu­tant Ni­cola Hancock fin­ish­ing with 4-22 off four overs with the ball — and sud­denly the Stars had a sniff.

En­ter Lee, who blitzed her top score of 76 in the WBBL last sea­son and stood tall from start to fin­ish in the Stars’ in­nings, de­spite strug­gling to find a solid part­ner in the mid­dle un­til fel­low South African Mignon du Preez (33 not out) came along at No.5.

To­gether the pair put on a part­ner­ship of 76 runs to get the Stars to 3-166 with 16 balls to spare.

A hum­ble Lee was quick to talk down her own per­for­mance, but the smile couldn’t be wiped from her face af­ter the up­set win — as the Stars had been widely tipped to fin­ish last in the com­pe­ti­tion this sum­mer.

“It’s very good (to score a cen­tury) but at the end of the day it’s all about the team and I’m just glad we got our first win,” Lee said.

“The bowlers brought the game back well, they were nice PERTH Scorchers proved they have more strings to their bow than just Aus­tralian cap­tain Meg Lan­ning as they downed Ho­bart Hur­ri­canes in the open­ing match of the WBBL sea­son yes­ter­day.

Fresh from lead­ing Aus­tralia to vic­tory in the Women’s World T20 in the West Indies last week, Lan­ning failed to fire in her Scorchers de­but, caught be­hind for just eight. Perry Healy Gard­ner Burns McGlashan Van Niek­erk Kapp Smith Ex­tras Fall: 108, 109, 125, 152, 156, 156, 165. Bowl­ing: Suther­land 2-013-0, Fer­ling 3-0-26-1 (1w 1nb), King 3-0-29-0 (1w), Os­borne 3-0-28-1 (1nb), El­wiss 3-0-26-0, Blows 20-19-0 (1w), Hancock 4-022-4 (1nb). Overs: 20. Lee Reakes Mackc Os­borne Du Preez Ex­tras Fall: 57, 84, 90. Bowl­ing: Kapp 4-0-26-0 (1w), Chea­tle 1-0-18-0, Perry 3-0-25-1 (1nb), Van Niek­erk 3-0-22-1 (1w 1nb), Aley 1-0-20-0, Gard­ner 3.2-0-32-1 (1w), Smith 2-018-0. Overs: 17.2 Stars won by seven wick­ets. and fast. So it was just good to have a good hit. There’s noth­ing wrong with be­ing the un­der­dogs, I think.

“It’s ac­tu­ally very good, you go in with no pres­sure on you.

“But it’s a done game, we need to go into our next game and start from the be­gin­ning.”

The Stars were with­out cap­tain Kris­ten Beams, and no time frame has yet been put on her re­turn as she re­cov­ers from an achilles ten­don in­jury.

The Stars face the Ho­bart Hur­ri­canes in Burnie on Satur­day.

But an im­pres­sive knock of 58 off 39 balls from fel­low opener and Aus­tralian team­mate El­yse Vil­lani, along with a fight­ing fi­nal part­ner­ship from Lau­ren Eb­sary and Chloe Pi­paro, helped the Scorchers across the line at Junc­tion Oval, post­ing 4-147 with three balls to spare in re­ply to 7-143.

Vil­lani, the player of the match, said win­ning with­out a ma­jor im­pact from Lan­ning was a pos­i­tive start for the team, which lost to Sydney Six­ers in last sea­son’s fi­nal.

“We’ve got some ar­eas of im­prove­ment, but it’s nice to start the sea­son with a win, that’s for sure,” she said.

“I think we let our­selves down in the field a lit­tle bit and in some of our bowl­ing.

“I don’t think we ex­e­cuted some of our plans as we would have liked.

“The good thing was there was plenty of peo­ple who stood up to­day with the bat and it was great that Lau­ren Eb­sary and Chloe Pi­paro fin­ished that off pretty clin­i­cally at the end.”

The Hur­ri­canes missed Eng­land cap­tain Heather Knight, In­dia’s Sm­riti Mand­hana and West In­dian all­rounder Hay­ley Matthews.

The ECB bans play­ers lin­ing up within a week of in­ter­na­tion­als, Mand­hana hasn’t ar­rived and Matthews broke her toe at train­ing on Fri­day.

Hur­ri­canes opener Erin Faza­ck­er­ley made 38 off 16 balls with seven bound­aries, while Ge­orgie Red­mayne (49) at No.3 was a rock be­fore be­ing run out in the fi­nal over.

Scorchers medium-pacer Heather Graham took 3-25.

58 70 0 8 14 2 0 5 8 102 13 3 5 33 10 Stars opener Lizelle Lee on her way to an un­beaten 102, while Six­ers star Ell­yse Perry (in­set) is bowled for 58 at Junc­tion Oval yes­ter­day. Pic­ture: MICHAEL KLEIN

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.