AS-W won by 30 runs.
Player of the match: Tahlia McGrath
That is all that was written for this game and with the Saturday double-header drawing to a close, the WBBL is definitely up and running alright. Plenty of exciting action beckons as we are set for another double-header tomorrow - while the Sydney Sixers and the Hobart Hurricanes lock horns first, the Perth Scorchers and the Brisbane Heat will then kickstart their respective campaigns against each other later in the day with both game taking place at the Blundstone Arena. It was a pleasure bringing the coverage of this game to you as we hope you enjoyed it much the same. Thank you so much for tuning in and do make sure to keep yourselves up to date with all the other cricketing action from across the globe right here on Sportskeeda. For now though, on behalf of my good friends and fellow textperts Pradeep Somashekar and Anavit Naik, this is Sooryanarayanan Sesha yet again reminding you to mask up and get yourselves vaccinated in case you haven't already. Goodbye and take care!
You can mark this date on your calendars as we state this - we are going to hear and see a lot of Tahlia McGrath in the years to come for sure. She seems to have the knack of stepping up whenever her team needs her to and whenever the chips are down and given her tendency to make things happen, we are looking at the rise of a superstar all-rounder in the making now. A thoroughly professional display from the Adelaide Strikers who have kickstarted their campaign with a resounding victory. The Sydney Thunder though, will have to pull up their socks and correct a lot of issues they had to endure tonight, and while they do have a lot of time to do so, they will be hoping to get back to winning ways at the earliest.
Tahlia McGrath (Player of the Match): There were a few nerves there but I'm just relieved more than anything to get the win. It was a quick transition into the tournament and I took a lot of confidence from the Australia-India series. I am loving the middle-order role - batting at the top didn't work for me last year so coming in the middle-order is helping me to take my time and then go big. I think I was taking unnecessary risks at the top and getting out earlier but in the middle-order I am able to just knock the ball around.
The defending champions Sydney Thunder have had a forgettable outing at the Blundstone Arena with a poor beginning to their title defense. The absence of regular skipper Rachel Haynes was felt heavily through the course of their chase of 141 through the course of which they fell short considerably.

The Strikers set out in quest of quick wickets and with Aussie internationals Darcie Brown and Tahlia McGrath bowling in tandem, both the Thunder openers were prized out within no time as they were pegged back early on in their chase. When one of the two early wickets to fall is that of a certain Smriti Mandhana as well, it certainly makes life tough as a batting unit and the Thunder certainly felt the same.

With three wickets falling in the Powerplay, a period of consolidation followed between Corinne Hall and youngster Anika Learoyd. The latter was certainly tied down to a massive extent by the spinners as the asking rate continued to climb steeply. Before it would get out of hand though, Hall cut loose with a couple of exquisite slog sweeps with Learoyd also following suit with a couple of boundaries as the duo raised a half-century stand.

Just when the Strikers needed a wicket though, skipper McGrath took the responsibility upon herself to scythe through the middle-order as both set batters were snapped out off consecutive deliveries. Another wicket off the very next over by Amanda-Jade Wellington left Indian international Deepti Sharma with a tall ordeal as the required rate skyrocketed and once she was dismissed, all that remained were the last rides as the remaining wickets too, fell like dominoes. From a score of 93/3, the remaining 7 wickets fell for a measly 17 runs as the Strikers scythed through the lower order without breaking a sweat, while also being backed up by some outstanding fielding with a couple of stunners on the part of Bridget Patterson headlining the same.

It was a clinical and collective effort on the part of the bowlers as Darcie Brown started the defense with the early wicket of Sammy-Jo Johnson. Jemma Barsby enjoyed a good outing with a wicket for herself while Amanda-Jade Wellington and Sarah Coyte too accounted for two wickets each. But as was the case with the bat, it was Captain Marvel Tahlia McGrath who made heads (as well as the game) turn with a three-fer that shut the door on the defending champions and orchestrated a handsome victory for her side.
LIGHTNING REFLEXES FROM McPHARLIN! Just the kind of finish that the Strikers would have wanted to what has been a most professional defense on the part of their bowlers. At the end of it all, Adelaide Strikers beat Sydney Thunder by 30 runs!
19.2 Sarah Coyte to Sam Bates, OH DEAR! OUT! STUMPEDD! Back of a length delivery tails into Bates as she makes room to hoick but misses, the keeper was sharp to whip the bails off in a flash and the square-leg fielder goes upstairs to have a check. 

Replay shows that Bates is short of her crease, that was a sharp piece of work from McPharlin and Strikers finish a comprehensive victory there. Thunder have a lot of thinking to do after that sort of a performance!
19.1 Sarah Coyte to Emily Smith, length delivery on the stumps as Smith swats it straight down the ground and they have to settle for a single.
Sarah Coyte to bowl the final over of the game. She will bowl over the wicket.

The last delivery took an eternity to reach the batter but it wouldn't have made much of a difference in any case. The Thunder have to pull off something sensational off the final over with 32 runs needed. The Strikers will fancy their chances of bowling them out though!

Sydney Thunder need 32 runs to win off the final over!
109 /9 score
cricket bat icon Issy wong
6 (7)
cricket bat icon Emily Smith *
4 (3)
cricket ball icon Amanda-Jade Wellington
2 /20
18.6 Amanda-Jade Wellington to Emily Smith, drops it short on the off-stump as Smith on the backfoot looking to turn it into the on-side but gets the extra bounce and takes the leading edge around the short third-man region, falls safely in the end.
18.5 Amanda-Jade Wellington to Emily Smith, OH MY! Would've been all over but Smith gets the inside edge past the keeper as she skips down the track for the short delivery, they come back for the second.
Samantha Bates, RHB, is the last batter out in the middle. She will be at the non-striker's end.
GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME! Bridget Patterson has taken a couple of sharp ones at mid-wicket but this tops the lot with an outstanding display of presence of mind! All smiles among the Strikers players although there seems to be an endless look at this by the third umpire as he seeks verification of Patterson not stepping on the ropes. All's well though and Wong eventually has to depart.
18.4 Amanda-Jade Wellington to Isabelle Wong, OUT! RIPPER OF A CATCH THERE AT DEEP MID-WICKET! Bridget Patterson take a bow! Everyone thought that'll clear the ropes quite easily but Patterson stood just inside the ropes, holds on to it but the momentum takes her over the ropes but her presence of mind ensures she lobs the ball back in the air and goes over and comes back to take it! WHAT A CATCH!

Isabelle Wong c Patterson b Wellington 6 (7b, 1x4, 0x6)
18.3 Amanda-Jade Wellington to Isabelle Wong, FOUR! SHOT! Full into Wong on the leg-stump as she leans into it and whacks it over the mid-wicket region and picks up a boundary.
18.2 Amanda-Jade Wellington to Isabelle Wong, OH! Excellent work from the keeper as she collects and whips the bails off in a flash but Wong gets her foot back inside the crease quickly, length delivery on the outside off as Wong leans into it to hoick against the spin and gets beaten.
18.1 Amanda-Jade Wellington to Isabelle Wong, drops it short on the off-stump as Wong down the track looks to hoick it but mistimes it back to the bowler.
Amanda-Jade Wellington is back into the attack for her final over of the game. She will bowl over the wicket.

It is all but a mere formality hereon with the defending champions having to endure a horrific start to their campaign. The least they can do though is to reduce the margin of defeat given net run-rate could always come into picture towards the business end of the competition.

Sydney Thunder need 39 runs off 12 deliveries at 19.50 RPO.
102 /8 score
cricket bat icon Issy wong *
2 (3)
cricket bat icon Emily Smith
1 (1)
cricket ball icon Sarah Coyte
1 /17
17.6 Sarah Coyte to Isabelle Wong, full delivery on the off-stump as Wong clears her front foot and whacks it straight down the ground, long-on fielder comes around swiftly to keep it to just a single.