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Sunday Tasmanian - - News - THEMERCURY.COM.AU BRETT STUBBS SUN­DAY DE­CEM­BER 9 2018

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.

Pic­ture: GETTY

SEN­SA­TIONAL: Heather Knight bat­ted bril­liantly for the Hur­ri­canes against the Mel­bourne Stars at West Park.

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