Everything wrong but Wong in another Thunder loss

The Sydney Thunder remain down the bottom of the WBBL|07 ladder after another loss. (Photo: WBBL/Twitter)

43 runs off 17 balls at a strike rate of 252.94 sound like pretty handy numbers for an explosive opening batter. But what about an opening bowler?

English teenager Issy Wong proved that sometimes runs come from the strangest places in the Sydney Thunder’s loss to the Adelaide Strikers on Tuesday night.

After giving up more runs than they’re used to – generally quite a frugal bowling side – the Thunder didn’t get off to an ideal start in their batting innings.

Smriti Mandhana and Tahlia Wilson opened the batting again, with Wilson finding the boundary with the first ball of the second over.

Not to be outdone, Mandhana went long straight down the ground off Jemma Barsby’s fifth delivery. Nicking the ball to mid-off, she was caught the next ball after.

It was a brutal blow to catching the Strikers’ 176 total, and one that they didn’t look likely to close in on.

With Wilson battling away, the Thunder limped through the powerplay without much firepower. Phoebe Litchfield made a late charge with a big hit straight down to the boundary to close out the first six overs 1/34.

Litchfield accidentally denied Wilson a likely four as she couldn’t react quickly enough and get out of the way, her ball to mid-on stopping right in its tracks.

As the middle overs wore on, it was Litchfield who continued to push up her strike rate with three fours and a six. She got lucky with one dropped catch but not two, as Amanda-Jade Wellington’s safe hands in the outfield saw her wicket finally gone 40 (28).

Sammy-Jo Johnson would fall not many balls after. At 3/92 at the start of the 14th over, it was either a miracle or bust for the Thunder’s chances. Wilson’s wicket finally dropped after 42 runs off 46 balls, leaving the Thunder dead in the water with five overs to go.

Enter Wong and her unlikely heroics.

She got herself straight on the batting highlights reel, launching three sixes to make 19 runs off the 16th over.

Wong would hit three more huge balls over the boundary as the target the Thunder were chasing looked increasingly in reach, even if the chance were only slim.

While she would lose her wicket after facing just 17 balls, her efforts were one of the few positives on what could have been a shocking run total that ended up at a respectable 6/158.

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Wong couldn’t stay away from the highlights, taking advantage of some early swing on the ball and claiming a maiden first over. Combining with Sam Bates, they started their bowling innings with 11 dot balls.

The combination of spin and pace to open the attack nearly claimed the wicket of Dane van Niekerk, barely slipping through Corinne Hall’s fingers at point. Some mis-fielding saw the South African get out of jail again in the third over.

An overall strong opening bowling performance, the Thunder managed to limit the Strikers to 0/29 off the powerplay.

From there though, half centuries from both van Niekerk and Laura Wolvaardt got the Thunder into hot water as quickly as Wong got the Strikers worried.

Multiple dropped catches would go on to haunt the field, watching the South African pair continue to rack up the runs.

Deepti Sharma had a day to forget with the ball, bowling 0/35 off her two overs including giving up two fours and three sixes.

Johnson was the only bowler who managed to take multiple wickets, in what could only be described as a tough day in the office for the Thunder.

The bottom of the table has now lost two matches in a row after getting back on the winners list last weekend.

Sydney will back up at Karen Rolton Oval against the Perth Scorchers on Thursday. Last time they met, the Thunder were demolished by 81 runs.

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About Alex Catalano 310 Articles
Alex is a studying journalist from Melbourne with an obsession for all things Aussie rules, and a commitment to providing equal coverage and recognition to women's sport. A sport all-rounder, Alex reports on Aussie rules, football, basketball, netball, cricket and esports.

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