Kim Garth Melbourne Stars WBBL|07

Kim Garth contributed to the Melbourne Stars posting a big first-innings total. (Photo: WBBL - Twitter)

Maia Bouchier and Kim Garth's 83-run fourth-wicket partnership guided the Melbourne Stars to a large first-innings total.

The Melbourne Stars might’ve fallen to the Hobart Hurricanes but a fourth-wicket partnership between Maia Bouchier and Kim Garth propelled the side to a competitive total.

The Stars, sent into bat by Hurricanes captain Rachel Priest, were cruising to a competitive total in their first innings at the crease with opening pair Elyse Villani (35 off 29 balls) and Annabel Sutherland (12 off 27) combining for a 48-run first-wicket stand.

However, by the halfway point of the innings, Hurricane’s bowler Tayla Vlaeminck took the wickets of Meg Lanning (three off four) and Villani within the space of three balls just on the stroke of the drinks break. Heading into the second half of their innings, the Stars were down 3/58, with two new batters – Bouchier and Garth – at the crease.

Following the short break, the way the two came out with intent, the conversation between the two seemingly that they needed to get into their innings first of all, and then build the score upwards to put the odds further in their own favour.

While the first over after the break yielded five runs, Bouchier came alive in the following over, launching a six over deep fine leg – the first of two maximums for her across the contest. Bouchier continued the boundary hitting in the following over, splitting the gap between point and cover, cutting the ball for four.

A couple of quieter overs – but ones that still saw four and five runs scored respectively – set up a mammoth finish for the pair, and for the Stars.

The 16th over saw Garth begin to play some big strokes, finding the boundary as her score climbed but it was the 17th over that saw Hurricanes off-spinner Molly Strano concede 13 runs – including a four to Garth and a six to Bouchier that saw them climb above 100 runs.

Bouchier and Garth rotated the strike with some singles before Garth again went big and found the boundary again. The duo punished Hobart’s Nicola Carey too in the penultimate over, taking 15 runs that included three fours.

Garth began the final over how the second-last finished – with a four – as again, the two batters kept the scoreboard ticking over with a few singles.

Bouchier came undone trying to shift across the crease and hit the ball to deep mid-on, although didn’t get enough power as it found the hands of Vlaeminck. Garth was determined to finish the innings off well, finding the square leg boundary for four on the final ball of the innings.

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Coming out of the innings break, needing to defend their set target of 145, Garth was again in the thick of the action immediately. She claimed the wicket of Ruth Johnston, bowled for a golden duck in the first over of the innings, leading to a best-possible start for the Stars.

Garth would be one of the most economical bowlers of the Star’s lineup, finishing with figures of 1/25 from four overs. Annabel Sutherland (1/32 off four overs) and Sophie Day (1/17 off two overs) were the other bowlers to claim wickets.

Sutherland also worked a runout; a Mignon du Preez ball hit back towards her where she was able to get a finger on it enough to catch Carey out of her crease as the ball knocked the bails off on the deflection.

Unfortunately for the Stars, they wouldn’t see their win tally increase in WBBL|07, unable to control a Player of the Match performance from du Preez and a late-innings cameo from Richa Gosch.

The Melbourne Stars stay in Tasmania, next coming up against the Sydney Thunder on October 30 at 4:05 pm from UTAS Stadium in Launceston.

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