Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Sydney Thunder: Alex Blackwell Medal contenders

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Who was Thunder’s best player of WBBL|07?

The winner of the WBBL|07 Alex Blackwell Medal is set to be announced at the Cricket NSW Awards on Thursday evening.

Here’s a closer look at the contenders for the player-voted award, won last year by English superstar Heather Knight.

Sam Bates

Bates was one of Thunder’s most consistent performers in WBBL|07, claiming 12 wickets at an impressive economy of 5.76.

The left-arm spinner stood up in key moments, including a Player of the Match performance against the Melbourne Stars to lead a young Thunder side to its first win of the season.

Hannah Darlington

At just 20 years of age, Darlington could claim her second Alex Blackwell Medal after another dominant WBBL campaign.

The talented youngster responded to being thrust into the captaincy by ending the tournament as Thunder’s leading bowler with 16 wickets at 20.75.

Darlington’s outstanding season was rewarded with selection in the WBBL|07 Team of the Season, alongside the likes of Sophie Devine and Harmanpreet Kaur.

Sammy-Jo Johnson

Johnson finished WBBL|07 – her second season in Thunder colours – with 10 wickets and 146 runs to her name.

The competitive all-rounder saved her best performance for her old side, striking 52 and claiming one wicket in an upset win over the Brisbane Heat in Mackay.

Phoebe Litchfield

A promotion up the order saw Litchfield enjoy her best WBBL campaign yet.

The 18-year-old juggled her NSW Higher School Certificate commitments while starring at number three, scoring 263 runs in the tournament and claiming the Weber WBBL|07 Young Gun Award.

Smriti Mandhana

Indian superstar Mandhana finished her first season in green as Thunder’s leading run-scorer with 377 runs at an average of 34.27.

The classy left-hander equalled the highest WBBL score ever, scoring an unbeaten 114 at a remarkable strike rate of 178.12.

Deepti Sharma

Recruited for her ability to change the game with bat and ball, Sharma was a welcome addition to the Thunder Nation in WBBL|07.

The Indian all-rounder claimed 13 wickets – second behind only Darlington – and scored 211 runs at an impressive average of 35.16.

Past winners of the Alex Blackwell Medal:

WBBL|06 – Heather Knight

WBBL|05 – Hannah Darlington

WBBL|04 – Rachel Priest

WBBL|03 – Rachael Haynes

WBBL|02 – Harmanpreet Kaur

WBBL|01 – Stafanie Taylor

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