Tess Flintoff has left the cricket world in awe after the Aussie batter smashed the fastest 50 on record in the WBBL to guide the Melbourne Stars to a memorable victory.
The Stars took on Adelaide at North Sydney Oval on Wednesday, and fans were treated to a bludgeoning of the ball from the exciting all-rounder.
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Flintoff shattered the previous record for the fastest half-century in the competition, needing just 16 deliveries to smash her fifty - a full six less than the previous record.
Six boundaries and three sixes came scorching off the bat for Flintoff, who continued her good form after scoring an unbeaten 40 against Perth in her last outing.
The previous record was held by Australian Ashleigh Gardner and South African Lizelle Lee, who both managed to set the record in the same game.
A six from the final ball of the innings saw her finish unbeaten on 51, having secured the WBBL record an narrowly missing out on the Australian overall record.
Only Test captain Pat Cummins (14 balls) and Dan Christian (15) have hit a half-century from fewer deliveries in Australian cricket.
“I’m probably more excited about the win, to be honest. Obviously it’s pretty satisfying (to break the record)," Flintoff said afterwards, having been awarded Player of the Match honours for her efforts.
“North Sydney is a beautiful ground … it was quite quick today and there were some short boundaries with a strong breeze, so the conditions were in the batters’ favour.”
Her finals six of the innings pushed the Stars to 5-186 after the Strikers elected to field first.
Fans were stunned by the ferocious display of batting.
i didn’t quite realise just how insane tess flintoff’s 16-ball half-century today was but the fact that the next best is 22-balls? she’s not just beaten the others, she’s annihilated them 🤯
— paige (@paigecaunce) November 2, 2022
— OMKAR KUMAR PRAJAPATI (@Omkarku81036774) November 2, 2022
— Jemimah Rodrigues (@JemiRodrigues) November 2, 2022
— Victorian Cricket Team (@VicStateCricket) November 2, 2022
— CricCrazy 🇵🇰 (@CricCrazy__) November 2, 2022
Wow! Take a bow Tess Flintoff! The fastest 50 in WBBL history...just 16 balls 🔥🔥🔥pic.twitter.com/owq019p4A3
— Aatif Nawaz (@AatifNawaz) November 2, 2022
Stars set massive total thanks to Tess Flintoff power-hitting
Flintoff's matchwinning knock proved too much for Adelaide to overcome, with the Strikers finishing their 20 overs on 8-164.
No.5 Alice Capsey (49) and opener Lauren Winfield-Hill (47) also played important roles in the Stars' big total.
Australia star Tahlia McGrath's troubling run with the bat continued, with the Strikers captain out for one following two ducks in as many games.
Adelaide had solid contributions from Katie Mack (47), Bridget Patterson (41) and Laura Wolvaardt (30) as Sasha Moloney (4-24) was the pick of the Stars bowlers.
It was just the Stars' second win of the tournament, with Adelaide to remain in third on the table with four victories.
Meanwhile, the ladder-leading Sixers trumped crosstown rivals the Thunder by 15 runs in the Sydney Smash thanks to an outstanding all-round display from Ashleigh Gardner.
Gardner hit a vital 52 to rescue the Sixers from 2-7 to 6-163 after they elected to bat first.
Captain Rachael Haynes (37) and No.5 Chloe Tryon (32) attempted to push the Thunder towards an unlikely win, but it was all Gardner.
The 25-year-old opened the bowling to finish with figures of 3-25 to be the clear player of the match.
Lauren Cheatle also picked up three wickets for the Sixers as the star-studded group in Magenta went a game-and-a-half clear on top of the ladder.
The Sixers will battle the Scorchers in Perth on Saturday in a blockbuster top-of-the-table clash.
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