Winning the toss and again bowling first, the Hurricanes were again able to restrict the imposing Thunder batting line up to a modest total of 7-129 after their allotted 20 overs. Former Hurricane, Heather Knight, was in form with the bat, top-scoring for the Thunder with an unbeaten 61 off 49 balls, but other threats with the bat - Tammy Beaumont (18), Rachel Trenamen (0), Sammy-Jo Johnson (9) and Rachael Haynes (8) - were all dismissed cheaply.
West Indian import, Hayley Matthews, and teenager, Amy Smith, once again led the wicket-taking for the Hurricanes with two scalps apiece, with Smith adding Thunder captain and Australian vice-captain, Haynes, to the huge wickets of Ashleigh Gardner and Erin Burns she took against the Sixers yesterday. An improved performance in the field saw two wickets fall to run outs, and at the innings break the match was evenly poised and either sides for the taking.
Hurricanes openers, Rachel Priest and Naomi Stalenberg, had a point to prove as they strode out to the middle to get their innings with the bat underway, playing against their old side in the Thunder for the first time. Priest wasted no time getting off the mark, taking on Thunder’s Player of the Match from the previous day’s game in Johnson, hitting her for 13 off the first over. Stalenberg wasn’t as lucky however, dismissed in the fourth over for just five runs.
Priest was seeing them like beach balls, taking on Johnson in particular throughout the innings, who went for 0-29 off her three overs. However, the support down the order for Priest was waning, with Matthews (14 off 18) and Nicola Carey (12 off 14) the only other two Hurricanes batters to reach double figures.
With five overs remaining, the ‘Canes required less than a run a ball to win, however the Thunder tightened up their fielding, making the inner circle harder to penetrate and boundaries harder to come by for Priest, who was fast running out of batting partners. With one over remaining, 11 runs were required – a tough ask, but definitely possible. With one ball remaining and Priest on strike, the equation was three runs needed for the win, and two to take the match to a super over. Hannah Darlington held her own at the death however, with the final ball – a yorker – only able to be put away to cover for a single.
Batting for the entire 20 overs, Priest finished with an exceptional 83* runs off 64 balls, in an innings that included nine fours and four sixes.
The Hurricanes will now look ahead to their re-match with the Melbourne Renegades on Tuesday night. The match at Blacktown International Sportspark will begin at 7.05pm, and will be streamed via cricket.com.au and Kayo Sports.