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We are slowly but surely approaching halfway stage in the Women's Big Bash League and things are looking all set for a rollicking second-half as far as the points table is concerned. There is strong competition in the middle of the points table, but almost all teams being in a similar position. The difference between the topmost team on the ladder, Adelaide Strikers, and Perth Scorchers, who are at the seventh spot, is just of two points. Melbourne Stars, who are placed at the bottom, are the only team, who are yet to register a win in the competition so far and they'll be looking to do just that when they face Sydney Thunder in their upcoming encounter, which is to be played on 27th October at Bankstown Oval, Sydney.
Syndey Thunder survived a scare from Renegades as Thunder just managed to defend a smallish total on a reasonably good surface to bat on. This win over Renegades was their second of the tournament and kept them tied with four other teams at the top of the ladder with only net run-rate to separate the five teams.
The loss to Sixers heavily damaged Thunder's net run-rate and they now have a net run-rate of 0.-575. Having said that, if they can continue churning out good results, net run-rate is going to be of little significance as far as qualifying to the next round is concerned.
Against Renegades, in their most recent encounter, Sydney Thunder could put a total of only 132 runs on the board. All their batsmen got decent starts, but none of them could go on to play a big knock, and because of that, the Thunder struggled to accelerate throughout their innings.
Their poor batting effort, however, was overshadowed by superb bowling performance as RM Farrell, S Ismail, and HJ Darlington picked up seven wickets between them without giving away too many runs. Their opening bowlers bowled a terrific opening spell and left Renegades reeling at 25 for 4 before being rescued by JE Duffin and C Webb. Farrell picked up Duffin and Ismail picked up Webb in consecutive overs and the two dismissals proved to be the turning point in the game.
Rachel Priest, Naomi Stalenberg, Rachael Haynes, Alex Blackwell, Phoebe Litchfield, Nida Dar, Hannah Darlington, Rene Farrell, Sam Bates, Shabnim Ismail, Lisa Griffith.
Melbourne Stars succumbed to yet another defeat in the tournament, this time against Sydney Sixers and consequently, they continue to hug the bottom-most spot of the ladder. They have played three and lost three and while their net run-rate of -0.897 isn't too bad, they'd have to be at their best in their next few matches to stand any chance whatsoever to qualify for the playoffs.
Against Sydney Sixers, their batsmen failed to fire as no one except for Mignon du Preez managed to get past a personal score of 15. Thanks to Mignon du Preez, who scored 44 off 47, albeit at a pedestrian pace, Melbourne Stars managed to put 107 runs on the board.
It was always going to be a tough task to defend such a low total, especially against a team packed with star players. It didn't prove to be any different as the Sixers hunted down the total without any fuss with 15 balls to spare and eight wickets in hand. Erin Osborne and Nicola Hancock bowled with a lot of heart and returned with the figures of 1 for 22 and 1 for 19 in their four respective overs, but it was too tough a total to defend against the Sixers. Their batting hasn't really been in best of forms in the tournament so far and if they can improve on that, the Thunder could have their work cut out.
Elyse Villani, Lizelle Lee, Mignon du Preez, Erin Osborne, Katey Martin, Tess Flintoff, Maddie Penna, Nicole Faltum, Nicola Hancock, Chloe Rafferty, Kristen Beams.
Melbourne Stars are in a delicate position, to say the least, as far as points table is concerned. Another loss here would make it difficult for them to match the other teams who are gradually but certainly marching ahead. Thunder, on the other hand, have had a pretty good campaign so far and they have bounced back into the contention beautifully after facing a massive defeat in the opening fixture. Comparing the two sides on paper and on the form, Sydney Thunder are a better side, and therefore, out pick to bet on in the upcoming fixture.
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