Taylor shines with half-century, Matthews helps Hobart into semis

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PERTH, Australia, Jan 21, CMC – West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor ended an otherwise disappointing Women’s Big Bash campaign on a high note when she stroked a half-century to see defending champions Sydney Thunder to a consolation five-wicket victory over Perth Scorchers on Saturday.
Entering the contest at Lilac Hill Park on a run of two consecutive ‘ducks’, the right-handed Taylor turned around her form with an enterprising 62 that anchored a Thunder run chase to overhaul a tricky target of 132.
She lost opening partner Rachael Haynes for 22 off 17 balls at 27 for one in the fifth over but then put on 57 for the second wicket with captain Alex Blackwell (26) and a further 36 for the third wicket with Indian star Harmanpreet Kaur (16 not out) as the visitors got home off the first ball of the final over.
Jamaican Taylor faced 54 balls and counted seven fours and a six before perishing in the 18th over with Thunder in sight of victory.
Earlier, Scorchers finished on 131 for four off their 20 overs, after opting to bat first.
Opener Nicole Bolton struck 53 and captain Suzie Bates got 28, the pair posting 63 for the second wicket to keep the innings alive.
Thunder finished three from bottom of the eight-team standings on 12 points to miss out on the playoffs while Scorchers finished second on 16 points to qualify.
At Bellerive Oval in Hobart, Taylor’s Windies teammate Hayley Matthews played a crucial role in helping Hobart Hurricanes defeat Melbourne Stars by four wickets, and reach the final four of the tournament.
Set 136 for victory, Hobart got home with a ball to spare, after gathering the 12 runs required off the final over.
Captain Heather Knight top-scored with 35 off 26 deliveries, Amy Satterthwaite weighed in with 26 while the teenaged Matthews got 24, as they propelled Hobart’s run chase.
Batting at number five, Matthews played a crucial role in adding 38 for the fourth wicket with Satterthwaite before going bowled by leg-spinner Kristen Beams (3-11).
Earlier, Matthews grabbed two for 23 with from three overs of off-spin as Stars, opting to bat first, finished on 135 for eight off their 20 overs.
Captain and opener Meg Lanning was the only batter to stand up, top-scoring with an excellent 81 off 55 deliveries, but was the only one to pass 20 and just one of two in double figures.
Hurricanes finished fourth in the standings on 15 points to sneak into the final four and will face Sydney Sixers next Wednesday in the second semi-final.

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