‘Not panic stations yet’ as winless Thunder thumped by Scorchers

Sammy-Jo Johnson leaves the field after getting dismissed as the Thunder remain winless in WBBL|07. Image: @WBBL. Twitter

Sydney Thunder allrounder Lauren Smith insists it’s not “panic stations yet” for her side despite its winless start to WBBL|07 following an 81-run loss to the Perth Scorchers in Launceston.

The defending champions sit bottom of the points table after three matches with only one point coming from yesterday’s washout of the Sydney Smash in what has been a slow start to the fresh campaign.

Already missing star English duo Tammy Beaumont and Heather Knight for this tournament and with the late withdrawal of captain Rachael Haynes, the Thunder have had some significant line-up changes before a ball was bowled.

Despite the heavy defeat, Smith said the message post-game from coach Trevor Griffin was one of calm.

“The big one [message] was don’t panic, it’s only been two games for us with that washout against the Sixers yesterday,” Smith said post-match from UTAS Stadium.

“It’s still early doors and we’re not even halfway through the games yet so i think [the review tomorrow] just coming back, being level headed and nice and calm, obviously reflect on how we performed today and not panic”.

It was a trying day for the Thunder in the field as they couldn’t break the strong Scorchers opening stand with Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney blasting the second highest partnership ever in WBBL history.

English import Issy Wong finally broke it the 19th over, catching the edge of Mooney through to wicketkeeper Tahlia Wilson with the score on 173, before skipper Darlington removed Devine in the final over not long after she brought up her third WBBL century.

Smith said 19-year-old Darlington is still growing into the role as captain, but was still upbeat in the rooms after the game and will learn from the experience.

“Hannah took it all really well. She’s a really experienced person in general, I think she took some feedback from the players really well too,” she said.

“She’s a calm and level headed person to have around our group and lead our group as well so, again, I don’t think it’s panic stations here yet.

“We’re obviously going to reflect and park this game because we do have a short turnaround.”

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Despite the squad turnover and large names departing, Smith said the morale is good in the Thunder camp as the imports are making their mark on the squad both on and off the field.

“I mean, I think we already had our little cry about Rach [Rachael Haynes] not coming unfortunately, but I think we have the experience in our other internationals” she said.

“Smriti Mandhana at the top of the order and Deepti [Sharma], both really experienced players in their roles at the top of the order with Smriti and then Deepti with the ball and bat and then Wongy [Issy Wong] just steams in for us with the new ball.

“It’s a really good group, we get on really well, we’re obviously still trying to get to know each other and how we all play and that kind of stuff but hopefully it all comes together this next game in 2 days and we get the ball rolling with a win on the board.

The Thunder are back at UTAS Stadium on Tuesday where they face off with the Melbourne Stars with both of last year’s finalists desperate to get momentum rolling in the new season. The match begins at 1:25pm local time.

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