Darcie Brown’s first hat-trick celebrations were soured, as the Adelaide Strikers went down to the Brisbane Heat by five runs.
It was a slow start to the day’s WBBL|07 action due to a soggy wicket that appeared to continue as the Adelaide Strikers took to the field. The Heat got off to a fast start with the bat and the Strikers were struggling to find their line with the ball.
With 35 runs already on the board for the Heat, the crucial breakthrough came from the bowling of Sarah Coyte as Grace Harris edged it through to Tegan McPharlin behind the stumps.
Two overs later, Darcie Brown came back into the attack for another go – after her first was an expensive one, going for 13.
Much better lines from the Australian fast bowler were rewarded with Brown becoming the sixth player in the competition to take a hat-trick.
Post-match, Brown said it was “pretty cool” to take her first hat-trick and be the first female Striker to achieve the feat.
“I’ve never taken a hat-trick before.”
“I had no idea (first WBBL Striker to take a hat-trick), I don’t really look into the stats too much.”
The first came thanks to the handy work of Katie Mack in the field – Georgia Redmayne (28 off 14) caught in the outfield. The batters crossed and it was debutant Ellie Johnston facing up, her inexperience saw her mistime one, caught by Tahlia McGrath.
On the hat-trick ball, Laura Kimmince pulled at the short ball and mistimed it, skying it to fine leg which Laura Wolvaardt held onto.
The Heat set 5/104, a large total for the Strikers to tackle in the second innings, but achievable given how in-form the Strikers batters have been.
South African openers Dane van Nierkerk and Wolvaardt were slow in starting the run chase, with the Heat bowlers keeping things tight. As the outfield dried up and with the ball moving along to the boundary quicker, the pair had the run chase ticking along nicely.
Van Nierkerk was forced to depart, L.B.W to Jess Jonassen, despite being a long way down the crease, and the following ball the Heat captain took the wicket of Tahlia McGrath with an incredible catch.
Pressure built on the Strikers, as a slow run rate in the middle overs started to hurt them.
Wolvaardt scored 54 from 30, including three sixes for a Player of the Match performance
But her efforts weren’t enough and the Strikers’ unbeaten streak to start WBBL|07 ended with a five-run loss to the Heat.
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The 11 over match went “pretty quick”, and the Strikers were enjoying the opportunity to get out there again after Saturday’s match was washed out.
“It was a lot of fun, it was pretty windy too,” Brown said.
“But yeah it was good to get out there, finally, with yesterday morning’s game cancelled.”
The Strikers were unbeaten heading into the clash with the Heat, two strong wins and an abandoned match have them on five points.
The Heat have now caught up, and the Sixers are there too, an even start to the season meaning wins are crucial to staying in the top four until finals weekend.
“It’s what happens when, you know, we don’t execute as best as we can.
“I suppose that’s the good and bad thing – that we can improve from that.
“It just shows how strong the comp is.”
The Strikers now head home to Adelaide for a week, before a trip to Perth next weekend.
With new faces around, these early trips have provided a good chance for the squad to spend time together and bond both on and off the field.
“Everyone is fitting in great, loving the team camaraderie around.
“So yeah, it’s been a lot of fun to hang around with those new girls, and yeah they’ve blended in real well.”
The Strikers will be looking to return to their winning ways when they face the Scorchers next Saturday afternoon from 4:50 pm AEDT.
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