31/05/2024
Tahlia McGrath

The Adelaide Strikers have fallen to the Melbourne Stars in their first game back at Karen Rolton Oval. Image: Adelaide Strikers WBBL - Twitter

The Adelaide Strikers have been left seeing stars, dazed by a Meg Lanning masterclass in a 37 run loss to the Melbourne Stars.

The Adelaide Strikers have been outclassed by Melbourne Stars’ captain Meg Lanning and her side, falling 37 runs short in a rain-delayed match.

Back at Karen Rolton Oval for the first time in two years, the Strikers were hoping to get their stint at home off to a better start. 

However, the Australian captain was back at her brilliant best, making it a difficult task for the ladies in Strikers’ blue. 

Post-match, Darcie Brown said it was a disappointing game, as the plans to try and take the wicket of Meg Lanning just didn’t come off today.

“Meg’s a class player and it showed, you know, to get 80-odd in a 14 over game, I mean you’d be pretty happy with that no matter what, even if it was a 20 over game. 

“But yeah, obviously disappointing, especially our first game back here for a few years, but hopefully we bounce back pretty quick for Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Brown struggled with the ball a little, trying to find her line and then trying different tactics to the quality of Lanning. 

“I feel mine were a bit wide and then I tried to – one of our plans was to try and bowl a bumper at Meg – but I guess it didn’t get up and then I thought I’d try again to see if it was just the ball I bowled or if it was the pitch, so then yeah that one got whacked too. 

“So, I guess, yeah, we’ll have a look at that in our review meeting and see what we can change and work on.”

Amanda-Jade Wellington took an exceptional catch to remove the Stars other opener, Elyse Villani, caught and bowled for 23. 

Megan Schutt got the wicket of Lanning, caught behind by McPharlin. However, plenty of damage was already done as the Strikers started to take these wickets in the final five overs. 

The Stars put on 126 runs from their 14 overs, which was achievable in the Strikers’ minds before they started to crumble. 

“We thought it was probably 10s an over here – it’s a pretty good batting deck, and yeah, I guess they bowled pretty well to our batters as well, so it’s credit to them,” Brown said.

Sometimes it’s just not your day, and for the Strikers it was just not their day with the bat. 

Laura Wolvaardt looked in good touch early and settled quickly before finding the boundary. 

But it was once again Lanning in on the action, taking the catch of Wolvaardt to dismiss her for 14. 

Dané van Nierkerk didn’t get any further than that, out for 14 as well off the bowling of Flintoff. 

Only two other players – Sarah Coyte (11) and Katie Mack (14*) – made it to double digits. Without a batter going big, the 126 run target was far too big for the Strikers. 

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The thunderstorm that rolled in between the double header at Karen Rolton did not deter fans from filing in to see live WBBL cricket in Adelaide. It had been two years and the players were excited to be back in front of a home crowd. 

Brown said it was “super cool” to be out there on the field with a healthy crowd cheering along.

“I haven’t played here in front of a crowd before, I remember running drinks here and it was pretty cool, and I was just pretty excited to be running drinks,” Brown said. 

“So yeah, it was really cool to actually have some fans here and get amongst it.”

Adelaide will look to bounce back against the Sydney Thunder on Tuesday. Once again on the Karen Rolton deck, which is often a batters paradise, Adelaide will be hoping its top order can start to fire once again. 

“We’ve played against them (Sydney Thunder) earlier in the tournament, so I suppose we’ll look at what worked well when we did play them then.

“Obviously they’ve got a couple wins so they’ll have a bit of momentum, so we’ll try and stop that and I guess see how we go.” 

The Adelaide Strikers return to Karen Rolton Oval on Tuesday to face the Sydney Thunder, where play is set to start at 6:00 pm AEDT.

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