A stunning batting collapse has prevented the Hobart Hurricanes from recording back-to-back wins against the Perth Scorchers.
What a difference a day makes.
A mere 24 hours after extinguishing the red-hot Perth Scorchers on their home deck, the Hobart Hurricanes have collapsed in stunning fashion to ensure the rematch wouldn’t be anywhere near as close as the first bout.
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The ‘Canes kept opening pair Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney quiet in the last meeting and clearly the Scorchers were out to exact revenge on not just Hobart’s openers, but its entire batting order.
The Perth attack came out ravenous and no one in a purple kit was safe.
Marizanne Kapp led the charge with 4-9 from the first ten overs, while Devine had two wickets of her own after three games without bowling.
“This is the best 4.4 overs I’ve seen in the Bash so far,” said South African legend Morne Morkel in commentary after the fourth wicket fell.
By the time the powerplay was up, the Hurricanes had lost five wickets and burned through all their specialist batters bar Mignon du Preez. They had 17 runs to show for it.
Suddenly, making it to 10 overs looked like a mighty task for the visitors, much less 20.
It took 18-year-old all-rounder Ruth Johnston to stem the bleeding and prevent the Hurricanes from breaking the most unenviable of WBBL records; had Johnston collapsed like her teammates and not pitched in the 38 runs she did, the Hurricanes could well have broken the record for the lowest total in WBBL history (66).
Like her teammates, Johnston played with fire and was very nearly scorched by Perth on more than one occasion.
Taneale Peschel missed a tricky catch that could’ve sent her packing. Lilly Mills put her down shortly thereafter, denying Kapp a five-for, but Mills made up for it when King finally caught Johnston off one of her deliveries. The Taswegians limped to a total of 96.
When Devine slogged two boundaries from her first three balls, the writing appeared to be on the wall.
The Scorchers surpassed the Hurricanes’ powerplay total one ball into their second over.
Devine (11) and Mooney (6) were once again neutralised — thanks entirely to superstar quick Tayla Vlaeminck — but the total was never going to be defendable. Chloe Piparo top-scored (29) and appropriately enough, it was Kapp who hit the final boundary to get the Scorchers home with four overs to spare
Prior to the tournament, betting agencies would’ve had Lilly Mills at very long odds to lead all wicket-takers at the end of WBBL|07. But past its halfway mark, that’s exactly where the 20-year-old quick finds herself. With her figures of 3-18, Mills leapfrogged Irishwoman Kim Garth and Aussie international Jess Jonassen into top spot.
The Brisbane Heat will be kicking itself that Mills was allowed to walk to the Scorchers for WBBL|07. What might have been had she played more than one game during her time in the Sunshine State?
On a tough afternoon at the office for her side, Vlaeminck came up with what was surely the best delivery of WBBL|07 so far.
It takes a pearler of a ball to stump Devine and Vlaeminck’s was just that. The delivery sailed straight past the Kiwi captain’s bat and into off-stump to give Hobart a sniff, but despite Vlaeminck’s heroics, the mountain was too big to climb.