Women’s Big Bash League: Brisbane Heat beat Heather Knight’s Sydney Thunder by 44 runs to reach Challenger | Cricket News

Brisbane Heat beat Sydney Thunder by 44 runs to book their place in Wednesday’s Women’s Big Bash League Challenger.

Thunder, captained by England’s Heather Knight, won the toss in Perth and inserted Heat to bat with openers Grace Harris (45) and Georgia Redmayne (18) sharing a strong opening stand and Heat reaching 81-1 after nine overs.

Amelia Kerr (48) smashed the highest score of the match but fell short of a half-century, to help her side post 169-8 and swung the momentum in favour of Heat when she picked up the huge wicket of Phoebe Litchfield (three).

Fast bowler Hannah Darlington (3-42) was the pick of the Thunder attack, striking twice in the 19th over to remove Charli Knott (11) and Georgia Voll (8).

In reply, Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu (41) made a positive start but wickets tumbled fast as Tahlia Wilson (12), Phoebe Litchfield (3) and Marizanne Kapp (2) all fell cheaply, restricting Thunder to 125-9.

Knight (25) and Anika Learoyd (21) shared a partnership worth 31 runs to help their side reach a respectable total but in the end, they fell short.

Courtney Sippel (3-9) and Nicola Hancock (2-16) produced some terrific bowling to help the Heat reach the Challenger for the second straight year.

“It’s always nice to win these games and give yourself a chance of going through and winning the title,” said Kerr, after being awarded Player of the Match.

“Grace [Harris] played with real freedom and I think we adapted well. Our seamers were outstanding. Those bowling spells win you games.

“It’s exciting, when you come to these competitions you want make finals and be in big moments. It’s going to be a good challenge match and let’s see what happens.”

Heat will now meet Perth Scorchers in the WBBL Challenger on Wednesday, with the winner playing Adelaide Strikers in Saturday’s final at the Adelaide Oval, live on Sky Sports Cricket.

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