McGrath powers Strikers to victory to boost finals hopes

Adelaide Strikers 2 for 155 (McGrath 93*) beat Hobart Hurricanes 154 (du Preez 75, Barsby 3-27)

A powerful career-best by Tahlia McGrath boosted Adelaide Strikers’ hopes of making the WBBL finals as they made light work of a chase against Hobart Hurricanes, which in turn guaranteed Sydney Sixers would finish top and earn hosting rights for the final next Saturday.

It what has been a lean season overall, McGrath passed fifty for the first time from 33 balls after Strikes overcame the early loss of Laura Wolvaardt who was bowled first ball by a delivery that nipped back from Hayley Jensen. McGrath and Katie Mack added 73 in 45 balls to break the back of the chase.

McGrath hurried the game to a finish with two sixes and two fours off Heather Graham in the 15th over with five wides sandwiched between them which may have denied her a century as she ended with 93 off 51 balls.

Mignon du Preez had dominated for Hurricanes with a superbly-constructed 75 off 47 balls but the next-highest score was Ruth Johnston’s 25. Their sixth-wicket stand of 45 helped a recovery from 5 for 77 in the 12th over but they still fell short of having enough. However, they retain a chance of progressing to the knockouts.

It was a memorable day for legspinner Anesu Mushangwe who became the first Zimbabwean cricketer to appear in the WBBL with Megan Schutt injured. She was handed the second over of the innings and made a superb start with her first over conceding just a wide against Lizelle Lee. She then made her first impact in the field with a sharp catch to remove Lee then in the fifth over had her first wicket when Rachel Trenaman lofted a full toss to mid-off.

Jemma Barsby’s excellent season continued as she claimed three wickets including the key pair of Elyse Villani and Nicola Carey. It took her tally to 15 at 16.20 with an economy of 5.92

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