Sydney Thunder cruise to WBBL title against Melbourne Stars

Sydney Thunder cruise to WBBL title against Melbourne Stars

Sydney Thunder claimed their second WBBL title after they stunned the Melbourne Stars by seven wickets in the final at North Sydney Oval. Chasing 87 for victory, Heather Knight (26 off 19) finished the job in emphatic fashion with a six over long off to win with 38 balls to spare.

But the damage was done early in the night by quicks Shabnim Ismail and Sammy-Jo Johnson. After almost two months in a bubble, the minor-premier Stars’ shot at a maiden title was realistically gone inside 37 balls.

Ismail was superb, removing dangerous openers Elyse Villani and Meg Lanning at the start of the innings. The South African – who also had Lanning dropped second ball finished with 2-12 from her four overs.

After Villani (1) fell driving on the up at cover, Ismail got Lanning (13) with the first ball of the seventh over caught behind with one that stayed a little low. The speedy right-armer was well rewarded, becoming the first overseas player to be named player of a men’s or women’s Big Bash final.

Johnson was just as good with 2-11. Her opening two-over spell of 1-2 had the ball seaming and swinging late, regularly beating the outside of the bat and trapping Mignon du Preez lbw on 4. She later returned to claim the wicket of former international Erin Osborne (6) when she skied one to cover.

By the time they had fallen to 5-37, it marked the Stars’ worst start to a game with the bat in the tournament’s six-year history. And from there, it was hard to recover as they succumbed to the lowest ever score in a WBBL decider.

Only Katherine Brunt (22 from 27) and Annabel Sutherland (20 from 20), offered any real resistance amidst a steady flow of wickets.

In reply, the Thunder’s pursuit never really looked in doubt after Rachel Treneman (23) and Tammy Beaumont (16) started fast and Rachael Haynes finished 21no.

The win marks the Thunder’s first trophy since the inaugural tournament in 2015-16, with only captain Haynes left from the team that beat the Sixers four years ago.