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Thunder start WBBL T20 defence with loss

AAP logoAAP 10/12/2016 Adrian Warren

The Sydney Thunder have started their WBBL T20 cricket defence with a six-run loss to the Melbourne Stars, on an opening day that's produced no individual 50s across the three games.

Chasing 148, at North Sydney Oval on Saturday, the Thunder finished at 4-141 with Harmanpreet Kaur scoring an unbeaten 47 off 28 balls in the first WBBL innings from an Indian.

The Stars' score of 8-147 was dominated by an opening stand of 79 between captain Meg Lanning (33) and player of the match Emma Inglis (46).

Kaur, India's second-highest T20 scorer, hit a total of 40 runs in her three ODI appearances at North Sydney.

"The way I played today there is a lot of responsibility on me because there is more expectations, so it will be very challenging," Kaur said.

"I like to take responsibility and I like to play under pressure. That's why I played quite well today."

She made an immediate impact, especially with two sumptuous sixes over extra cover.

"There're not a lot of girls who can actually hit there, but she just generated so much power and they were amazing shots," Inglis said.

"It got really close there at the end but I think we held our nerve well."

Kaur and Naomi Stalenberg (24 not out of 17) added 54 in the final 5.2 overs to get Thunder close.

Thunder's other import batter Stafanie Taylor and Rachael Haynes put on 50 for the first wicket, but spinners Alana King and Morna Nielsen pushed the run rate up with tidy spells.

"We were able during the innings to push that run rate up nice and high, so it gave us a little bit of breathing space down the back end," Inglis said.

Promoted from the middle order, Inglis achieved the rare distinction of outpacing Lanning, smashing 33 of 12 deliveries towards the end of the innings, after her captain outscored her 28 to 13 early on.

"I just went with it and Meg goes, 'Just keep going', so I did," Inglis said.

Erin Osborne and Nicola Carey took three wickets each as the Stars failed to fully capitalise on their speedy start.

In the earlier games, the Hobart Hurricanes chased down 120 to beat the Perth Scorchers by five wickets, and Adelaide Strikers defeated Melbourne Renegades by 14 runs.

Cricket Australia officials estimated about 3000 people attended the three games across the day.

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