Scorchers too good for Thunder in WBBL

Steve Barrett

The Perth Scorchers have jumped to second spot on the WBBL table after beating Sydney Thunder by 11 runs at the WACA.

Held to 6-116 after being sent in on Tuesday night, the Scorchers were seemingly behind the eight-ball at the half-way stage but they defended grandly, dismantling the Thunder top-order and ultimately skittling the visitors for 105 in the 20th over.

The win was the Scorchers' sixth straight against the girls in green.

Import Nida Dar stroked 43 for her first meaningful knock of the summer but hers was a lone vigil against a spirited Perth attack.

Irish swing bowler Kim Garth (3-21) produced her best WBBL figures while all-rounders Heather Graham (2-16) and player-of-the-match Nat Sciver (2-18) stood out with bat, ball and in the field.

The Thunder crashed to 2-0, losing world-class pair Rachel Priest and Rachael Haynes for ducks, and when Alex Blackwell was trapped in front for six, it was 3-18.

Naomi Stalenberg (16) bunted a regulation return catch to Graham to make it 5-39, leaving Dar with the unenviable task of pushing the rate while keeping wickets in the shed, which proved a stretch too far for the Pakistani who lacked support.

The Thunder batters were unable to get on top in the chase after their bowlers, led by wily veteran Rene Farrell (2-24) and teenager Hannah Darlington (1-15 off four overs), had earlier put the home side on the back foot.

Sciver (27), Graham (27) and captain Meg Lanning (25) all contributed what proved valuable cameos for the Scorchers who, after starting the evening in sixth position, secured their third successive win to leapfrog the Sydney Sixers, Melbourne Renegades, Brisbane Heat and Thunder to sit behind only Adelaide on percentage.