Not even captain ‘Ms. Fix-It’ Hannah Darlington could turn around the Sydney Thunder’s troubles as their two-game win streak came to an end.
Sitting on the bottom of the table, back-to-back victories over the Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Stars had spirits high coming into Sunday’s clash with the Brisbane Heat.
The Thunder won the bat flip and elected to bat first – a decision which looked to be paying dividends as the Adelaide Oval wicket had the ball moving far and wide.
13 runs in the opening over set the stage for a dominant powerplay performance from Smriti Mandhana and Phoebe Litchfield, notching up a massive 1/51 after the first six overs.
Though Tahlia Wilson departed after just four off eight deliveries, the Thunder were setting themselves a likely strong target, looking to fly past their tournament high 6/146.
Darlington was positive on how her side started, heading into the drinks break 2/82.
“We spoke about how we wanted to put a performance out there with the bat,” she told media post-game.
“[Mandhana] has been amazing. Her communication about some of the best in the world is pretty top knowledge, and she’s been really helpful out there just understanding different angles.
“She’s got heaps of experience with the bat, and what she does is pretty tremendous.”
Mandhana would score a solid 37 (24) including six fours and a six, before being taken by fellow countrywoman Poonam Yadav. It was a wicket which spelled the beginning of the end for the Thunder.
More Cricket News
The Thunder would manage just 27 runs after returning to the crease, slowing right down as the Heat’s bowling attack took control.
It wasn’t until Sammy-Jo Johnson’s wicket fell at the dawn of the 16th over that fresh life was breathed in their batting line up.
Barely looking likely to total 130, Darlington took matters into her own hands. The 19-year-old showed why she’s been chosen as a leader, hitting a huge six and finishing 19* (15).
She would go onto do the same with the ball, removing Georgia Voll (25 off 21) as she was beginning to build a strong partnership with Georgia Redmayne.
Darlington would finish her four overs at 3/21, the only Thunder bowler to claim multiple wickets.
While they couldn’t contain the fire of the Heat batting order, it was another sign of growth for the young captain as she continues to develop into one of Australia’s bowlers of the future.
“I love a new experience, and I’ve always loved pressure situations,” Darlington said.
“There’s nothing more special than having the ‘C’ next to your name. I’m really enjoying it, and the girls are getting around me. There’s been a couple of tough scenarios, so I think coming back and taking learnings from that has been the most important part.”
The Thunder will be searching for their third win of WBBL|07 against the Adelaide Strikers on Tuesday, November 9 at Karen Rolton Oval.
Subscribe to our newsletter!