Brisbane Heat WBBL captain Jess Jonassen has returned to the field for the first time since April, contributing well with the bat and ball in a super-over loss against the Perth Scorchers.
In her maiden outing as the skipper of the Heat, Jonassen won the toss and elected to field at Blundstone Arena in Hobart, sending the Scorchers into bat – a decision that was calculated based on recent matchups between the two sides.
South African Nadine de Klerk was given the bowling duties to open the game and went for six runs, the Scorchers capitalising on a 13-run over from Nicola Hancock following that. The pairing of Perth’s Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney was working well in tandem at the top of the order.
De Klerk went for 12 runs in the second over of her spell to have Perth 0/25 after three overs before the Brisbane captain wanted to halt the fast start of the Perth openers, bringing herself on to bowl the fourth over of the game – and to great effect.
Jonassen picked up the wicket of Devine with the first ball of her over, the batter sweeping the ball to deep midwicket where Georgia Prestwidge took a catch on the boundary. Only four runs would be scored from the remaining five deliveries of Jonassen’s over.
With Mooney and new batter, Sri Lankan Chamari Athapaththu cruising to come out of the powerplay with the run rate above 7.50, it was Jonassen yet again who provided the breakthrough. The left-armer claimed the wicket of Athapaththu with the second ball of the ninth over, finding Grace Harris on the rope at deep midwicket in an over that went for three runs in total.
The runs started to dry up when Mooney and Marzianne Kapp departed, Jonassen again keeping it tight with her orthodox bowling, the 15th over going for two runs. Jonassen enlisted herself to bowl the 19th over also which, although went for seven runs, saw her collect her third wicket – Mathilda Carmichael caught and bowled.
With the bat, Jonassen came in at the first drop, coming to the crease in the fourth over of their run chase after Georgia Redmayne was sent back to the sheds.
It took a while for Jonassen to get going in the middle, needing eight balls to find her first runs, a single via an edge to fine leg. After that point, she got going, hitting two fours and a six on her way to 18 off 22 before she was bowled by medium pacer Lilly Mills.
With the Heat cruising at 3/103, needing to reach the target of 138 for victory, the side lost 6/32 as the match went to a super over. Grace Harris and Laura Kimmince walked to the crease to set a total for the Scorchers, however it was Anneke Bosch who’d take the reins, hitting 11* off four balls after Harris was runout.
With a target of 13 set by the Heat, Jonassen gave herself the bowling duties to get her side over the line, however was on the backfoot after a first-ball six by Devine.
The combination of Devine and Mooney needed just four balls to claim victory, Jonassen unable to replicate her bowling performance from the regular part of the match, leading to Brisbane falling behind after its first game of the WBBL season.
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Speaking to media post-game, Jonassen said that the game was there to be won in the regular overs, and also in the super over but that she has the confidence of the playing group to bounce back in their next fixture.
“It was probably just a bit of rust, bit of cobwebs sort of for the first game, there’s by no means panic stations but it was definitely one that was there to win,” Jonassen said.
“[We were] looking to put that pressure on them [in the super over], then obviously to take those few boundaries off Kappy (Marzianne Kapp) was vital. Unfortunately I just didn’t execute with the ball, but it’s one of those things that you sort of learn from each and every time.
“I have every confidence in this group to be able to [bounce back]… we’ve got an incredible amount of belief.
“There’s still plenty of positives to take out of it but equally, the same amount of learnings as well which is something that’s really exciting.”
Unable to perform with the ball in the super over, Jonassen admitted to feeling down about how the match played out but took confidence in the ability to take the field again for the first time in months.
“I was very nervous sort of all day to be honest before getting out on the field, and to be out on the field first up was really nice and it sort of actually felt like I hadn’t been away,” she mentioned.
“Different story in my batting innings, I sort of felt like a bit of a fish outta water at times but it was really nice to get out there and obviously contribute with a couple of wickets.
“I’m just really disappointed I wasn’t able to bowl the same way in that super over at the end, wasn’t able to execute what I was trying to do.”
The Brisbane Heat have a short turnaround before their next match of the WBBL|07 season, facing the Perth Scorchers again at Blundstone Arena on October 19 from 4:50pm.
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