MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC) — Jamaica and West Indies stars Andre Russell and Stafanie Taylor tasted Big Bash League glory when their Sydney Thunder franchise swept the men’s and women’s titles on Finals day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground here yesterday.
In the marquee men’s final, Thunder beat Melbourne Stars by three wickets while in the undercard, Thunder Women also scored a three-wicket win over Sydney Sixers, to lift that inaugural title.
Despite the success, neither Russell nor Taylor played a significant role in the outcome of their respective games.
Sent in, Stars reached 176 for nine off their 20 overs — England star Kevin Pietersen top-scoring with a robust 74 off 39 balls with four fours and five sixes.
Pacer Russell finished with one for 30 from his four overs, while new ball partner Shane Watson was the best bowler with two for 17 from three overs of medium pace. In reply, Thunder rode on left-handed opener Usman Khawaja’s 70 off 40 balls, to get home with three balls remaining.
He put on 86 off 55 deliveries for the first wicket with Jacques Kallis (28) which laid the foundation for the successful run chase.
Russell made just 10 off eight deliveries before being fifth out in the 17th over with 31 runs left for victory.
In the women’s final meanwhile, Taylor stroked 27 from 35 balls with three fours in an opening stand of 54 with Rachael Haynes (37) which gave Thunder a strong start in their pursuit of 116 for victory.
Taylor was one of two wickets to fall in the 11th over, but captain Alex Blackwell hit an important 30 from 23 balls as Thunder held their nerve to get home with three deliveries remaining in the game.
Earlier, Sixers made 115 for seven from their 20 overs with number eight Angela Reakes top-scoring with an unbeaten 23.