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Heat sisters guide defending champs to victory

Brisbane Heat sisters Laura Kimmince and Grace Harris have guided their side to a gritty victory over the Adelaide Strikers at Drummoyne Oval on Saturday afternoon.Laura top-scored with the bat while Grace snared four wickets with the ball to help the defending champions secure a 14-run win in Sydney.After winning the toss and opting to…

Brisbane Heat sisters Laura Kimmince and Grace Harris have guided their side to a gritty victory over the Adelaide Strikers at Drummoyne Oval on Saturday afternoon.

Laura top-scored with the bat while Grace snared four wickets with the ball to help the defending champions secure a 14-run win in Sydney.

After winning the toss and opting to field first, Strikers all-rounder Tahlia McGrath captured an early breakthrough, removing the dangerous Georgia Redmayne for four.

Harris and Jess Jonassen set about reviving the Heat’s innings, but inconsistent bounce at Drummoyne made runs difficult to come by in the middle overs.

Opening bowlers Megan Schutt and Darcie Brown utilised the bowler-friendly conditions to ensure the Heat only scored 25 runs during the six-over Powerplay.

After being given an early life with a dropped catch at point, Harris compiled a patient 32 before she was stumped off Schutt’s bowling.

An explosive cameo from Kimmince, which included four boundaries and three mammoth sixes, guided the Heat to a defendable total of 7/135.

In response, Strikers openers Katie Mack and McGrath patiently survived the Powerplay, before accelerating in the middle overs.

The duo combined for a 57-run partnership before Mack was stumped while attempting an erratic swipe off Harris’ bowling.

South Africa international Laura Wolvaardt — the Strikers’ highest run-scorer of the WBBL — was then removed by New Zealand international Amelia Kerr for three to bring the match back in the balance.

The Strikers were unable to muster quick runs in the middle overs, and McGrath’s half-century wasn’t enough for the Adelaide-based side, who fell 14 runs short of the target.

Harris finished the match with superb figures of 4/16 off three overs, her accurate off-spin thwarting the Strikers at the death.

KNOCK OF THE MATCH

Laura Kimmince had struggled with the bat throughout this year’s WBBL, her highest score after five uneventful innings being eight.

But the Heat powerhouse plundered 41 off just 17 balls to steer her side towards a respectable total in the first innings.

In the 17th over, Kimmince struck one of the competition’s biggest sixes to date, slapping a full toss Sarah Coyte towards the Drummoyne harbour.

Her 54-run partnership with Kerr for the sixth-wicket was the highlight in an otherwise subdued patting performance from the Heat.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

A dropped chance from Maddy Green on the boundary granted McGrath an extra life in the 13th over of the run chase.

Courtney Sippel’s length delivery was dispatched towards mid wicket, where Green was steadying herself for a regulation catch.

But the ball slipped through her fingers and rolled over the boundary rope for a much-needed boundary.

Green was on 30 when the incident occurred, and she took advantage of the error, finishing her innings on 52.

BOWLING SPELL OF THE MATCH

Amanda-Jade Wellington didn’t get an opportunity to bowl until the 14th over, but managed to snare a key breakthrough with her second delivery, trapping Jonassen LBW for 19.

The Strikers leg-spinner then dismissed Georgia Voll and Maddy Green in her second over to boast figures of 3/4 off just nine balls.

Flight and overspin proved an effective weapon on the green wicket, with the batters struggling to combat the tweaker’s variation.

Wellington then returned at the death to remove Kerr for 16, finishing with 4/24 off three overs, her best figures in the WBBL.

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