ENGLISH import Heather Knight made an immediate impact for the Hobart Hurricanes in the WBBL with a polished 82 not out off 55 balls.
IT was almost the unlosable match, yet somehow that’s exactly what the Hobart Hurricanes did in Burnie.
Thanks to a brilliant innings from English captain Heather Knight, the Hurricanes posted their second highest WBBL score of 6-158.
They then started equally impressively with the ball to have the Melbourne Stars 4-23 in the fifth over and the Cane Train appeared to be running away for its first win of the season.
But impressive turned to insipid and the fielding was even worse.
With Stars captain Erin Osborne (67 from 46) and South African import Mignon du Preez (59 not out from 38) running like hares between the wickets, the Hurricanes bowlers crumbled first and then so did the fielders.
Missed stumpings and misfields flowed as did the runs as the equation went from Everest to dawdle for the Stars.
Melbourne reached the target with only one ball to spare, but it only needed four runs off the final over for victory.
Knight said it was disappointing to lose after setting the game up so well.
“We had a really good powerplay, obviously taking those wickets first up and probably a few loose balls in the middle and sharpen up a little bit hopefully in the field and missed a few chances, but that’s cricket and it happens sometimes,” Knight said.
“We know we have got a bit to improve on to come back tomorrow.
“It’s a quick turnaround so we’ve got to assess quickly but also park it very quickly and go again tomorrow.”
The 126-run partnership from Osborne and de Preez completely turned the game.
The pair began by turning singles into twos to turn the pressure up and then started to hit and clear the ropes as the partnership blossomed.
The duo robbed Knight of a deserved victory after a brilliant solo batting performance.
As wickets fell all around her, including new import Smriti Mandhana for a second ball duck, Knight showed a calm head to go at a run a ball to her mid-30s and then exploded in the back half to finish with 82 not out from 55 balls — the highest individual WBBL score by a Hurricane.
She smashed nine fours and three sixes in her return to the team after missing all of WBBL03 through injury as the Hurricanes put on 96 in the last 10 overs.
“I was just enjoying getting back out there to be honest, obviously I didn’t play last year,” she said. “But I guess the situation we were in, in losing those wickets, and knowing I had to anchor the innings I’m really pleased.
“I’ve done a lot of work on scoring at the back end and been able to clear the ropes and luckily it came off today.”
The Hurricanes remain winless after two games and meet the Stars again today at West Park, with the match starting at 10am.
SENSATIONAL: Heather Knight batted brilliantly for the Hurricanes against the Melbourne Stars at West Park.