15/04/2024
Wolvardt in Strikers and Renegades

Laura Wolvaardt makes her way to 47 in the match between the Strikers and Renegades (Photo: Adelaide Strikers WBBL/Twitter)

The South African pair of Dane van Niekerk and Laura Wolvaardt couldn't save the Strikers despite great innings from both batters.

The Adelaide Strikers losing streak continues with four losses in a row, including two this weekend.

The match started less than 12 hours after the Strikers’ last game against the the Perth Scorchers. Perhaps this was one of the reasons the Strikers couldn’t run out at the end of the match.

South African pair Dane van Niekerk and Laura Wolvaardt were the keys to the Strikers, keeping them in the match.

The Strikers started amazingly with the bat, with 13 coming from the first Sophie Molineux over. van Niekerk smashed two boundaries as well as five wides coming from the first ball. 

This was just the start of the boundary striking between the pair. van Niekerk peppered the square-leg boundary consistently. She finished up with two sixes as well as four additional boundaries. The Strikers line-up doesn’t contain the power of many other teams, however, van Niekerk is the exception.

A mixture of excellent boundary striking and fast running between the wickets assured the Strikers they would post a good score. The partnership between the two countrywomen reached 73 before van Niekerk was eventually out LBW to the bowling of Carly Lesson.

van Niekerk’s innings was one of the best you’ll see in the WBBL, with her 62 runs coming from 47 balls.

Wolvaardt continued to find the boundary after her South African partner departed, making her way to 47 before being out to the star of the day Harmanpreet Kaur.

Wolvaardt is now the Strikers leading run-scorer for WBBL|07 with 142 at 35.5. Van Niekerk sits just behind her with 136 at 27.20. If the Strikers are to move up the ladder at all, it will be on the back of this pair.

Bridget Patterson also chipped in with 11 from five balls to go, with Katie Mack’s 19 from 21.

Thanks to the South Africans, the Strikers made their way to an imposing 5-160. Against most teams, it would’ve been enough, but not against the powerful Melbourne Renegades batting line-up led by Harmanpreet Kaur (73 from 46).

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With the ball, Megan Schutt was once again the standout for the Strikers, her four overs only costing 18 runs and taking the key wickets of Rodrigues (27) and Dooley (29).

The big chase came at the back end, with the Strikers unable to stop the Harmanpreet Kaur force. 55 was the score after ten overs, and while there were some bad balls bowled, the Strikers lost primarily due to a world-class innings by the Indian captain.

The 11th over brought 16 from the bowling of Amanda-Jade Wellington which seemed to change the game’s momentum, with Kaur smashing two sixes and a couple of wides being bowled.

Captain Tahlia McGrath then turned to van Niekerk again with the hope she could continue her magic. Unfortunately, it was just with the bat today; her leg spinners went for 38 from three overs. Not even van Niekerk could stop Kaur today.

Sarah Coyte provided some hope with the wicket of Jess Duffin in the 19th over. However, a quick cameo from Sophie Molineux meant that the wicket didn’t arrest any momentum.

The Renegades took the win by six wickets with two balls to spare.

The Strikers will now move on to Adelaide in front of home crowds. The team will be hoping to use that home ground advantage to garner some wins.

Their next match will be played against the Melbourne Stars at Karen Rolton Oval. Play will begin at 1.10 local time on November 6.

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