Stars bt. Thunder by 33 runs
First We Take Manhattan
The 5-Over Manhattan shows where the game was won and lost. The Stars had the better of the powerplay, but the Thunder really pulled it back and were actually ahead after 15 overs – 91 to 86 – but the scoreboard pressure created by the Stars’ big final quarter really told, and the Thunder ended up bowled-out as they tried to chase the runs.
The Stars big final quarter was very-much down to Sophia Dunkley, who hit 24 off 17 balls, ensuring that Nat Sciver – 40 off 36 at the other end – didn’t have to farm the strike. Dunkley and Sciver between them made every ball count, turning a par effort into a good score by running hard between the wickets – the vast majority of the runs in their 54-run partnership coming in 1s and 2s.
Perhaps it was appropriate that it was in Bullseye host Jim Bowen’s native Lancashire that Rene Farrell held up a big sign to the Australian selectors echoing his famous catchphrase: “Look at what you could have won!” Her 5fer showed just what Australia were missing during the World Cup; and how much they could have done with her being in England a month earlier!
Is Grace Gibbs on course to be this year’s Cait O’Keefe ? O’Keefe played every game for the Western Storm last season, but didn’t bat or bowl; and Gibbs is currently on-course to repeat the feat this year! The serious point, however, is that this is one problem with having a competition so densely-packed with superstars – the new talent hardly gets a look-in sometimes, and it feels a bit unfair; though it is difficult to see what to do about it, short of a playing condition requiring players to either bowl or bat in the top 5? (Answers on a postcard, if you’ve got a better idea!)