Sports News

Heat thump Scorchers, rain mars WBBL derbies on opening day

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Brisbane Heat began their title defence by beating a fancied Perth Scorchers while Meg Lanning offered glimpses of her form in an abandoned match on a rain-marred opening day of Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League Twenty20 competition on Sunday.

All-rounder Grace Harris smashed a 37-ball 53 to help Brisbane overwhelm their 133-run victory target with three overs to spare at North Sydney Oval.

Australia opener Beth Mooney, who was signed to make up for Lanning’s departure to Melbourne Stars, topscored for the new-look Scorchers with a breezy 37 but it was not enough.

Adelaide Strikers had it even easier as they thumped Hobart Hurricanes by eight wickets with six overs to spare at the Hurstville Oval.

South African Laura Wolvaardt’s unbeaten 51 helped Adelaide run down the 85-run target after players from both sides took a knee before the match.

The match between Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder at North Sydney Oval was abandoned due to rain without a ball being bowled.

Rain also marred the Melbourne derby of the eight-team tournament, considered the best domestic competition for women cricketers.

Australia’s multiple World Cup-winning captain Lanning made an unbeaten 51 for Melbourne Stars before their match against Melbourne Renegades was abandoned.

Sydney will host across five venues all 59 matches of this year’s tournament because of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by William Mallard