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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Samantha Bates Thunders to WBBL title

Novocastrian Samantha Bates erased the heartache of the inaugural WBBL when the Sydney Thunder claimed the sixth edition of the T20 tournament at North Sydney Oval tonight.

The left-arm finger spinner was a member of the original Thunder outfit, which won the first Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) crown in 2015-16.

However, she missed the decider after suffering a broken arm.

Thankfully, Bates made up for it in Sydney’s dominant seven-wicket victory over the highly-fancied Melbourne Stars on Saturday 28 November.

For her part, the 24-year-old captured 1-18 from her four-over spell, removing English all-rounder Nat Sciver for 11 in the process.

That took her season tally to 18 scalps following her 2-37 effort against two-time defending premiers Brisbane Heat in Thursday evening’s thriller at the same venue.

Sammy-Jo Johnson (2-11) and South African speedster Shabnim Ismail (2-12) were also impressive with the ball in hand, restricting the Stars to a meagre 9-86.

The triumph capped off a massive week for Bates.

On Wednesday 25 November, she took a significant step towards becoming a one-club WBBL player, signing a contract extension for the next two years.

She also enjoyed a stand-out season in WBBL06, earning herself a place in the Team of the Tournament.

Her best figures of 3-9 came against the Perth Scorchers.

That included the big scalp of Player of the Tournament Sophie Devine.

She then led the Thunder to success at the expense of the Heat with a brilliant double-wicket maiden earlier in the competition.

Bates said her decision to re-sign with Sydney came down to the promising future of the organisation – and her desire to be a one-club player.

“Our side is in a really good position right now,” she explained.

“And, it’s really exciting to see the young guns coming through like Phoebe Litchfield and Hannah Darlington.

“I’m just really excited that I can still be part of it.

“Right now, I really can’t see myself playing for a different team.”

Bates was part of the Australia A women’s squad, which toured Dubai in early 2015, her maiden appearance in the “green and gold”, too.

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