Stars shake down Thunder to edge closer to maiden Finals berth | Melbourne Stars - BBL
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Stars shake down Thunder to edge closer to maiden Finals berth

14 November 2020

The Melbourne Stars’ hot streak has continued, cruising to a sixth consecutive victory as they defeated the Sydney Thunder by eight wickets at Sydney Showground Stadium.

Back-to-back player of the match Nat Sciver claimed 2/24, an unbeaten 36 off 31, and a one-handed screamer at point, while Mignon du Preez was again clinical with the willow, scoring an unchallenged 57 off 37.

Fast bowler Katherine Brunt took 2/19, while Annabel Sutherland and Erin Osborne were other strong contributors with the ball.

Electing to bowl, the red-hot Stars were off to a red-hot start, with Brunt bowling an errant-swinging Sammy-Jo Johnson in the third over.

Four balls later, Osborne took a spectacular catch diving forward at mid-wicket, removing the dangerous Heather Knight for a fourth-ball duck.

Later, Sciver broke a 44-run stand in breathtaking fashion.

Tammy Beaumont’s reverse sweep appeared successful at first glance, as the ball looked to break the infield past the point position.

But Sciver had other ideas, diving to her left to take a one-handed classic to produce one of the highlights of the tournament.

As the Thunder’s innings reached its twilight, Sciver’s romance with the highlights reel continued, combining her bowling with the trusty hands of Meg Lanning to dismiss Rachael Haynes for 51.

Then, with the last ball of the match, the English gun closed out the innings in style, bowling Rachel Trenaman to help restrict the Thunder to 5/131.

In the run chase, opener Elyse Villani struck a quartet of early fours before chopping on for 20 off 17.

Lanning and Mignon du Preez looked to steady the Stars innings, but the eighth over saw the captain bowled by a well-directed yorker.

It meant du Preez and Sciver — the two international imports — were tasked with chasing down the remaining runs with eight wickets in hand.

But the batters-in-waiting weren’t required, as the pair guided the Stars home without blemish.

It’s a quick turnaround for the Stars, who face cross-town rivals the Renegades tomorrow afternoon in search for a seventh consecutive triumph.