Mack, Mandhana chase down targets as bowlers dominate Mackay
Smriti Mandhana (L) and Katie Mack © Getty Images
Katie Mack and Smriti Mandhana played solid knocks on a bowling day on Sunday (November 14) at the Great Barrier Reef Arena in Mackay to take their respective sides home. Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Thunder restricted their opponents - Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers respectively - to 94 runs before the openers Mack and Mandhana guided them home in comfortable chases.
Opting to bat first, Heat suffered an early setback with Grace Harris dragging one slower delivery from Megan Schutt on to the stumps in the third over. Although Gerogia Redmayne and Gerogia Voll added 30 runs for the second wicket, they struggled to force the pace on a tricky surface.
Eventually Redmayne fell for 14 off 24 balls when she offered a return catch to Amanda-Jade Wellington. The leg-spinner provided Strikers with another breakthrough in the same over when she sent back Voll. After those twin blows, Heat never recovered.
Heat went from 39 for one to 43 for four and when skipper Jess Jonassen fell they were reeling at 70 for six in the 18th over. From there, it took a few lusty blows from Laura Kimmince to take them over the 90-run mark. The big hitter smashed Wellington through square-leg for four before launching a six over long-on. Kimmince remained not out on 22 off just 11 balls when all the other batters went at less than 100 strike rate.
For Strikers, Wellington picked up two wickets for 21, while four others took one wicket apiece.
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In the chase, Strikers also didn’t have the greatest of starts as Courtney Sippel struck twice in the second over with consecutive deliveries. The in-form pacer first removed Dane van Niekerk for five before getting Laura Wolvaardt to nick one behind the stumps for a golden duck.
However, Mack showed the way to bat on the surface and started the innings with two boundaries off Nadine de Klerk. She then drove Sippel through cover for her third boundary. At the other end, Tahlia McGrath grew in confidence and drove Jonassen to long-off for her first four. The skipper was happy to play second fiddle to Mack during their unbeaten stand.
In the tenth over, Mack took on Jonassen with two more boundaries to take the score to 59 for two at the drinks break. Heat needed to strike consistently, but Mack-McGrath duo batted solidly without any trouble. Mack’s boundary off Sippel took them closer and she brought up her second fifty of the season from 46 balls with a single that leveled the scores.
Mack finished the match in style with a boundary off Poonam Yadav to remain not out on 54 off 48 balls. The Strikers duo added 88 runs in the process as they got home with 22 balls to spare.
In the Sydney derby, batting struggles continued for Sixers as they lost three big wickets inside the power play. Shafali Verma, back to the opening slot, survived a few anxious moments before getting run out for eight. Issy Wong struck twice in consecutive balls to remove Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner. The wicketkeeper-batter was caught by Deepti Sharma, while Gardner was dislodged for a first-ball duck with a delivery that came back to knock the stumps.
From 22 for three at the end of the power play, Ellyse Perry and Nicole Bolton added 39 runs to resurrect the innings, but they took their time during the partnership before Bolton attempted to scoop Hannah Darlington and was bowled.
Angela Reakes scored run-a-ball 16 and Perry remained unbeaten on 40 as Sixers huffed their way to 94 for six from the 20 overs. For Thunder, Wong and Darlington took two wickets each.
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In reply, Thunder started aggressively with Sammy-Jo Johnson pulling Lauren Cheatle for a four before driving Maitlan Brown for another boundary. Mandhana got going with a flick off Brown through square-leg for her first four.
However, Cheatle struck twice in consecutive overs to remove Johnson and Phoebe Litchfield to give Sixers some hope. Mandhana found an able partner in Corinne Hall and they kept the chase on track.
The Indian southpaw grew in confidence and swept the off-spin of Gardner for a four to end the power play. She then took on Brown again with a pair of boundaries through the off-side. Although Cheatle came back to dismiss Hall to end the 53-run stand, it was too little too late for Sixers.
Mandhana hit two more boundaries and looked on course to take Thunder home without any further hiccups. But after smashing Stella Campbell over her head, she went for another big shot and was caught at the cover boundary for 45 off 39. Sharma came out and finished the match with sweep off Bolton for a four in the 16th over.
For Sixers, Cheatle was the most impressive bowler with three wickets to her name.
Brisbane Heat 94/7 in 20 overs (Laura Kimmince 22*, Amanda-Jade Wellington 2/21) lost to Adelaide Strikers 98/2 in 16.2 overs (Katie Mack 54*, Tahlia McGrath 31*; Courtney Sippel 2/22) by eight wickets. POTM: Katie Mack
Sydney Sixers 94/6 in 20 overs (Ellyse Perry 40*; Hannah Darlington 2/15, Issy Wong 2/27) lost to Sydney Thunder 96/4 in 15.2 overs (Smriti Mandhana 45; Lauren Cheatle 3/15) by six wickets. POTM: Issy Wong