Sydney Thunder has fallen to the Brisbane Heat by three wickets in a thriller at Cazaly's Stadium in Cairns.
With Rachael Haynes (57) and Rachel Priest (21) in the middle, Thunder made a fast start before the wickets of Priest and Naomi Stalenberg (5) fell in quick succession. Alex Blackwell (28) combined with Haynes to steady the ship but it was a quickfire 43 from 23 balls from Stafanie Taylor that powered Thunder to a competitive total of 7-171.
Taylor (1-21) got the early breakthrough for Thunder, picking up the key wicket of dangerous opener Grace Harris in the second over after she belted 13 from the first. However there was just no stopping Beth Mooney who scored a match-winning 102 from 55 deliveries to help her side clinch victory with three balls remaining.
Thunder made one change, with Maisy Gibson coming back into the XI for Belinda Vakarewa. The Heat named an unchanged XI after a convincing six wicket win over the Melbourne Stars on Thursday.
Sydney Thunder: Alex Blackwell (c), Sam Bates, Nicola Carey, Maisy Gibson, Lisa Griffith, Rachael Haynes, Harmanpreet Kaur, Rachel Priest (wk), Naomi Stalenberg, Stafanie Taylor, Rachel Trenaman
Brisbane Heat: Kirby Short (c), Jemma Barsby, Josie Dooley, Grace Harris, Laura Harris, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Georgie Prestwidge, Laura Wolvaardt
THE TURNING POINT
At the beginning of the nineteenth over, the game was still up in the air with Heat requiring 19 runs from 12 deliveries to win. Laura Harris and Delissa Kimmince managed to score 14 runs from the over, which included a no ball and free hit, and put Thunder in a very difficult position heading into the final over.
THE FINAL OVER
Nicola Carey had the ball with Heat requiring six runs to win. Laura Harris and Delissa Kimmince managed a single each from the first two deliveries before Harris secured the win with a boundary.
PERFORMANCE OF THE MATCH
Stafanie Taylor was terrific with the bat and ball tonight. The West Indies captain smashed six boundaries and a six on her way to 43 from 23 balls before taking a key wicket and bowling very economically against a big-hitting side.
Semi-finals! Thunder will take on either the Heat, Melbourne Renegades or Sydney Sixers at Drummoyne Oval next Saturday. Times and match ups are yet to be confirmed however tickets are on sale now. The back-to-back fixtures will be broadcast on Fox Cricket and 7.