Devine star act in Strik­ers’ vic­tory

Sunday News - - SPORT -

The Ade­laide Strik­ers kept their WBBL fi­nals hopes alive by cruis­ing to a clin­i­cal 30-run win over the Perth Scorchers de­spite op­pres­sive heat in Al­ice Springs.

With the mer­cury sail­ing past 40 de­grees Cel­sius at Al­brecht Oval, New Zealand all­rounder So­phie Devine con­tin­ued her rich vein of red-hot form with a match­win­ning 59 off 48 de­liv­er­ies to un­der­pin the Strik­ers’ 138-7.

In re­ply, the Scorchers were bowled out for 108.

Brid­get Pat­ter­son re­turned to form by whack­ing three sixes in her 32 to pro­vide in­valu­able sup­port for Devine after cap­tain Suzie Bates chimed in with 22 at the top of the or­der.

Out­stand­ing all­rounder Heather Gra­ham (2-25) ex­tended her lead as this sea­son’s top WBBL wicket-taker while Kate Cross, de­spite not pick­ing up a wicket, was ar­guably the pick of the at­tack.

The Eng­land seamer con­ceded just 13 off her four overs and stran­gled the Strik­ers dur­ing the pow­er­play and the death to give Perth a fight­ing chance.

But the Scorchers found them­selves in early trou­ble when in­form skip­per Meg Lan­ning, who had posted four 70-plus scores in her pre­vi­ous five knocks, chipped Me­gan Schutt (2-21) to a div­ing Bates at cover in the open­ing over.

After star­ring with the bat, Devine then struck with her first ball, knock­ing over the dan­ger­ous El­yse Vil­lani (13), who never quite looked right in her come­back from a ham­string strain.

The Scorchers looked gone at 59-5 when Gra­ham de­parted cheaply be­fore Lau­ren Eb­sary threat­ened to pro­duce a late twist.

The ex-Striker hit a breezy 38 but she lacked any sup­port and even­tu­ally holed out to Tabitha Sav­ille off ex­pe­ri­enced English spin­ner Danielle Hazell (3-20).

Sarah Coyte (3-20) mopped up the tail to help the re­ju­ve­nated Strik­ers ex­tend their win­ning streak to three and move within one point of the fifth-placed Scorchers.

Both Ade­laide and Perth re­main re­liant on the fourth­placed Mel­bourne Rene­gades los­ing both their matches this week­end to have any hope of mak­ing the top four play­offs and a chance to ad­vance to the fi­nal.

GETTY IMAGES

So­phie Devine plays a cut shot dur­ing her match-win­ning in­nings in Al­ice Springs yes­ter­day.

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