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Sydney Thunder defeat Hobart Hurricanes in WBBL|07, Deepti Sharms and Smriti Mandhana star


The Sydneysiders appear to be hitting their stride. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)
The Sydneysiders appear to be hitting their stride. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)

Indian star Smriti Mandhana hit another matchwinning 50 for the Sydney Thunder before a controversial call halted her charge.

Mandhana and her national teammate Deepti Sharma, who starred with bat and ball, were instrumental as the Thunder notched up back-to-back wins, comprehensively beating the Hobart Hurricanes in Launceston by 37 runs.

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But Mandhana left some runs out there after she was caught on the boundary for a half century, despite Brad Hodge calling the delivery from Nicola Carey a, “clear no ball”.

The decision went upstairs and the third umpire controversially ruled that Carey did not overstep the line despite replays suggesting otherwise.

“That’s a clear no ball,” Hodge said.

“There’s nothing behind there. It’s actually taking chalk up, you can see the chalk mark.”

Mandhana was forced to go with the Thunder on 111 and in need of a late flurry of runs to get them close to 150.

Mandhana and Phoebe Litchfield (31) had put the Thunder in a commanding position with a 70-run partnership, before Litchfield was caught by Mignon du Preez.

A brilliant, diving catch from Belinda Vakarewa then sent Corinne Hall (12) back to the sheds, but cameos from Sharma (20) and Sammy-Jo Johnson (13) saw the Thunder reach 6-146 – their highest total of the season.

Sharma was one of the Thunder’s best. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)
Sharma was one of the Thunder’s best. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)

It could have been more had it not been for some excellent bowling from the Hurricanes, who pegged the Thunder back and took wickets at the end of the innings.

The Hurricanes’ chase couldn’t have got off to a worse start when the powerful Rachel Priest was brilliantly caught by Sharma off just the second ball of the innings.

But it did bring Mignon du Preez to the crease and the South African continued from where she left off the night before, when she hit a brilliant 73 against the Brisbane Heat.

She was dropped by Sam Bates on 30 and went on to score 41 off 39 before she was eventually caught by Lauren Smith in what was a big breakthrough for the Thunder.

The target raced away from the Hurricanes as they continued to lose wickets, with Sharma the pick of the bowlers with 3-13.

Carey was eventually dismissed for 29 runs. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)
Carey was eventually dismissed for 29 runs. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)

CAREY’S SKILL

‘Glenn Maxwell eat your heart out,’ was how Lisa Sthalekar described a shot from the Hurricanes’ Nicola Carey. The left-hander took on the Thunder’s Lauren Smith with an outrageous reverse sweep for six. It’s a shot she’s been practising and it finally came good.

STUNNING DELIVERY

Aussie pace sensation Tayla Vlaeminck made an early breakthrough for the Hurricanes with a delivery clocked at 126km/h. It was a stunning delivery to Tahlia Wilson that nipped back to take the bails off. Vlaeminck has had her share of injuries, but she has returned to top form during the WBBL.

PRIEST’S PAIN

Hurricanes captain Rachel Priest has been playing through a fair bit of pain. The power-hitter and wicket keeper took a blow to the fingers after keeping to Tayla Vlaeminck a few matches ago and she has continued to play despite sporting some cracks in her finger.

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