Taylor fails twice but Thunder are on top
HOBART, Tasmania (CMC):
West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor suffered a rare double failure with the bat, but her Sydney Thunder did enough to win twice in the inaugural Women's Big Bash League here yesterday.
In the first game of a doubleheader at the Kingston Twin Ovals, Thunder beat Brisbane Heat by five wickets in the first game and returned to defeat Hobart Hurricanes by eight runs in a night encounter.
Both Thunder and Hurricanes sit top of the standings on 14 points with identical 7-2 records, but Thunder hold the edge courtesy of net run rate. Chasing an uncomplicated 95 for victory against Heat, Taylor was dismissed for a first-ball 'duck' as the visitors stumbled to 20 for three in the fifth over.
However, Naomi Stalenburg stroked 42 and captain Alex Blackwell an unbeaten 32 in a 60-run fourth-wicket partnership which rescued the innings.
Heat had earlier fallen for 94 all out off their 20 overs, with 19-year-old left-arm spinner Maisy Gibson taking three for 14.
Taylor claimed one wicket for six runs from two overs of off-spin.
In the second game at Bellerive Oval, Taylor managed just eight as Thunder reached 135 for seven off their 20 overs after opting to bat first.
Stalenburg was again among the runs with a cavalier 37 off 16 deliveries, including five fours and two sixes.
In reply, Hurricanes were restricted to 127 for eight off their 20 overs, with Taylor's West Indies teammate Hayley Matthews scoring 11.
Captain Heather Knight top-scored with 26.
Taylor produced a crucial spell, picking up two for 27 from four overs, to help cripple the Hurricanes run chase.