Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Sydney Thunder: Alex Blackwell Medal contenders

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Who was Thunder’s best player of WBBL|06?

Sydney Thunder is set to announce the winner of the Alex Blackwell Medal for WBBL|06 at the Cricket NSW Awards on Friday evening.

Here’s a closer look at the contenders for the player-voted award, won last year by young gun Hannah Darlington.

Sam Bates

Bates was pivotal to Thunder’s success in WBBL|06 with her left-arm finger spin claiming 18 wickets at an impressive economy of 5.94.

Her best figures of 3-9 came against the Perth Scorchers, including the big wicket of Player of the Tournament Sophie Devine, and she also led Thunder to victory over the Brisbane Heat with a brilliant double-wicket maiden.

Hannah Darlington

The talented teenager continued to make her presence felt in elite company during Thunder’s title-winning campaign.

Darlington claimed 19 wickets at an average of just 13.68 and an economy rate of 6.19 to finish second on the overall league wickets table.

She cemented herself as one of the league’s best death bowlers, with her changes of pace and match-winning yorkers forming a crucial part of Thunder’s title-winning bowling attack.

Rachael Haynes

A consistent season with the bat and her exceptional leadership could see Haynes claim player of the tournament honours for the second time.

The Thunder skipper scored 337 runs at an average of 37.44 and her fearless captaincy played a crucial role in her young side’s title success.

Shabnim Ismail

The South African speedster enhanced her reputation as one of the world’s best fast bowlers during her second season in green.

Her fearsome spells harvest 14 wickets at a remarkable economy rate of 5.56. She saved her best performance for last, snaring 2-12 in the WBBL Final, including the key wicket of Melbourne Stars captain Meg Lanning.

Sammy-Jo Johnson

Recruited from the Heat, the all-rounder needed no time to add an extra edge to coach Trevor Griffin’s young squad.

The 28-year-old played a crucial role in Thunder’s finals campaign, finishing WBBL|06 with 22 wickets and 108 runs.

Heather Knight

The England skipper was a massive addition to the Thunder Nation in WBBL|06.

Knight declared her intent to dominate the opposition early in the season with a brilliant 83 against the Adelaide Strikers, and finished as Thunder’s leading run-scorer with 446 runs – the most runs ever made by a Thunder batter in one WBBL season.

Past winners of the Alex Blackwell Medal:

WBBL|05 – Hannah Darlington

WBBL|04 – Rachel Priest

WBBL|03 – Rachael Haynes

WBBL|02 – Harmanpreet Kaur

WBBL|01 – Stafanie Taylor

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