WBBL round-up: Mack's fifty ensures Adelaide Strikers keep rolling, Sydney Sixers all-but gone
It was a low-scoring day in Mackay as batters continued to find conditions tricky
Adelaide Strikers 2 for 98 (Mack 54*) beat Brisbane Heat 7 for 94 by eight wickets
Adelaide Strikers made it four wins in a row and completed a strong weekend as they aim for a place in the finals. The bowlers set up the victory as Brisbane Heat failed to make it to three figures before Katie Mack's half-century guided the chase home with 22 balls to spare.
Strikers' attack kept the pressure on throughout and Heat struggled to push above four runs an over for much of the innings until a late cameo from Laura Kimmince who struck 22 off 11 balls. Megan Schutt and Darcie Brown sent down 28 dot balls between them while Amanda-Jade Wellington and Jemma Barsby contributed a joint tally of 24.
Wellington had struck twice in her first over when she held a sharp return catch to remove Georgia Redmayne then added Georgia Voll three balls later.
Heat were given some hope when Courtney Sippel produced another excellent new-ball spell to remove Dane van Niekerk and Laura Wolvaardt in consecutive balls. van Niekerk was held very low at cover, a catch that was referred to the TV umpire, the Wolvaardt edged a wild drive. However, any thoughts of a collapse were put to bed by Mack, with a 46-ball fifty, and Tahlia McGrath who never had any run-rate pressure to worry about. Mack's eight fours were more than Heat managed in their whole innings.
Sydney Thunder 4 for 96 (Mandhana 45, Cheatle 3-15) beat Sydney Sixers 6 for 94 (Perry 40*) by six wickets
Sydney Sixers' campaign was all-but ended by local rivals Sydney Thunder as they paid the price for another insipid batting display. Issy Wong, the English fast bowler, stood out with the ball then Smriti Mandhana did what few other batters have been able to achieve on the Mackay wicket.
Sixers' top-order, which saw yet another reshuffle with Shafali Verma returned to opening, was dismantled inside the powerplay as they fell to 3 for 22. Shafali was run out by a direct hit from Deepti Sharma, Alyssa Healy clipped to square leg and Ash Gardner was bowled first ball by a wonderful delivery from Wong which swung at pace past the outside edge.
Ellyse Perry tried to fashion a recovery but the pace of scoring was pedestrian with the Thunder attack offering very little. Left-arm spinner Sam Bates, who had opened with a first-over maiden, went for just 14 including 16 dots and captain Hannah Darlington claimed 2 for 15. The last three matches in Mackay have seen first-innings totals of 7 for 91, 7 for 94 and 6 for 94.
In a smart move to try to overcome conditions, Thunder promoted Sammy-Jo Johnson with a license in the powerplay and her 12 off 9 balls set the tone even though she and Phoebe Litchfield fell in quick succession to the impressive Lauren Cheatle. Mandhana marshaled the chase, adding 53 with eight overs with Corinne Hall, to ensure the result was never in doubt. Radha Yadav did not bowl after injuring herself diving to make a save near the boundary.
The result lifts defending champions Thunder off the bottom of the table.