FINAL: Sydney Thunder win WBBL Title for the 2nd Time, Defeats Melbourne Stars in WBBL06

Quite contrary to the expectations that the fans had from the final of WBBL season 6, it turned out to be a lopsided affair. It was a battle between the captain and vice-captain of the Australian national side. There was Meg Lanning leading the Melbourne Stars on one hand and on the other there was Rachael Haynes captaining the Sydney Thunder.

The Melbourne Stars, who were ruling the roost throughout the tournament, just failed to deliver on the d-day. Winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Stars had a horrendous day with the bat as they were reduced to a paltry 86-9 in 20 overs. The fast and furious duo of Shabnim Ismail and Sammy-Jo Johnson sliced through the top order in a jiffy as the Stars found themselves wanting for 20-3 in 6.1 overs. Ismail and Johnson were a โ€˜thunderโ€™ storm to which the Starsโ€™ batters had no answers. The dyad scalped two wickets apiece. For the Stars, Katherine Brunt top-scored with 22 but that was not enough as her side was found guilty of scoring the lowest total in a WBBL final. The innings included just three boundaries and two sixes.

 

WBBL 2020 Winners - Sydney Thunder
WBBL 2020 Winners – Sydney Thunder. PC: WBBL/Twitter

 

Chasing a humble 87, all the Thunder had to do was to avoid an awful start to their innings and they achieved that through an opening stand of 24 before Beaumont was removed lbw by England team-mate Brunt. Her opening partner Rachel Trenaman looked good during her 26-ball 23 but fell to Tess Flintoff while trying to drive giving a simple catch to Elyse Villani at the point. Heather Knight (26 not out) and skipper Rachael Haynes (21 not out) ensured that there were no further hiccups as they had also lost Sammy-Jo Johnson (1), who was scalped by Alana King. In the end, it was a cakewalk for the two-time finalists Sydney Thunder as they chased down the target in 13.4 overs, with seven wickets in hand. Playing their first-ever WBBL final, the Melbourne Stars, perhaps could not hold on to their nerves and gave away an easy win to the Thunder.

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Brief Scores:

Melbourne Stars 86-9 in 20 overs (K Brunt 22, S Ismail 2-12) lost to Sydney Thunder 87-3 in 13.4 overs (H Knight 26 not out, K Brunt 1-24) by seven wickets

What the players had to say:

Rachael Haynes, Thunder captain: Incredible feeling. Such an amazing effort from everyone at the club. Want to thank the Stars. You guys had a dominant tournament but unfortunately, it didn’t go your way today. Obviously, a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes. Want to thank the internationals who came out, going through quarantine. Huge effort from a lot of people so thank you very much.

Meg Lanning, Stars captain: Has been wonderful fun. Lots of hard work that’s gone on behind the scenes. Congratulations to Rach and the Thunder you’ve thoroughly deserved it.

Shabnim Ismail, Player of the Match: Don’t think words can describe the moment. Great team effort.

Heather Knight: Credit to the bowlers, really chuffed about it. I’m really proud of all the senior players and the young players. We’ve been around the dressing room and got to know each other really well, played a lot of pranks. The younger players have done extremely well this season and I’m really proud of them.

Hannah Darlington: I didn’t have to do much this game so I’m really happy we’re on the winning side. We’re going to be doing this for years to come. It was supposed to be a building year, but we’ve built our year towards a title. Really proud.

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Lauren Smith: I am over the moon. I’m proud that these girls can play under such pressure situations. I told them that they must just keep their calm under pressure, given that this is my fifth final. It was really great to get hit into the oak tree and then take a wicket next ball so I really put a lot into that celebration.

Sammy-Jo Johnson: It’s bloody amazing. I can’t believe we made it and I’m really really proud. Some of the young girls bring a lot of energy and I’m just really proud and really stoked that we’ve done it.

Rachael Haynes: I can’t believe it, a huge effort from the team. Up against world-class players and a world class team, there was so much belief and there was so much positivity in our team. So happy. Every time they had the ball in their hand or an opportunity with the bat, they wanted to win. They weren’t worried about losing. It made my job so much more easy. Season one was pretty special but tonight is definitely right up there.

Playersโ€™ quotes are sourced from Cricbuzz

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