Taylor half-century helps Thunder to dramatic win

SYDNEY, Australia, CMC – Stafanie Taylor’s season-best half-century was nearly in vain but somehow Sydney Thunder managed to hang on and beat city rivals Sydney Sixers in a dramatic Women’s Big Bash League encounter here yesterday.

Set 139 for victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Thunder were propelled by Taylor’s top score of 68 off 51 balls but once she departed to the second ball of the penultimate over with 11 runs required, Sixers hit back to ensure scores were level at the end of the allotted overs.

Opener Stafanie Taylor … top-scored with 68 for Sydney Thunder.

There was even more drama in the one-over eliminator as Taylor helped Thunder to reach eight for one and Sixers then lost three wickets as they too ended on eight runs.

Boundary count was then used to determine the winner and Thunder, with 16, edged out their opponents who struck 14.

The victory left Thunder three from bottom on the eight-team table with  10 points while Sixers remains on top on 16 points.

Thunder’s run chase begun shakily when they lost Rachael Haynes for eight with the score on 14 in the third over but Taylor and captain Alex Blackwell (19) revived  the innings in a 29-run, second wicket stand.

Against the run of play, however, Blackwell cut an innocuous delivery from seamer Kim Garth to point in the seventh over leaving Taylor to rally the innings.

The West Indies captain responded well, adding 41 runs for the third wicket with Indian star Harmanpreet Kaur (16) and a further 23 for the fourth wicket with Nicola Carey (8).

Taylor struck seven fours and two sixes before becoming one of two Sarah Aley’s wickets, caught at the wicket with victory in sight.

Earlier, the 25-year-old Jamaican had produced a brilliant spell with her off-spin to claim two for 15 from three overs as Sixers, opting to bat first, mustered 138 for seven off their 20 overs.

Ashleigh Garner top-scored with 54 off 41 balls while Sara McGlashan chipped in with 30 from 31 deliveries.

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