Anesu Mushangwe gets Adelaide over the line after Laura Wolvaardt's lone-hand had ensured a competitive total against the Thunder
Adelaide Strikers have taken the outright lead on the Weber WBBL ladder after a rescue mission by opener Laura Wolvaardt set up a thrilling three-run win over Sydney Thunder.
Both sides were 2-4 early in their innings as ball dominated bat at Cricket Central.
Wolvaardt's class and composure in an unbeaten 70 proved the difference after Adelaide were sent in.
She grafted as wickets tumbled at the other end before unleashing at the death. The South African star combined with Megan Schutt (16no) to take 38 runs off the final three overs and lift the defending champions to 7-121.
The Strikers' bowlers were brilliant early with Jemma Barsby dismissing the dangerous Chamari Athapaththu (0) in the first over and Schutt snaring Phoebe Litchfield (one) in a deep cover trap in the second.
The hosts were meandering along at 5-53 after 14 overs until Tahlia Wilson (33 off 23) and Sammy-Jo Johnson (26no off 14) threatened to get their side home.
A crafty last over by spinner Anesu Mushangwe (2-24), where she conceded just five runs, clinched the win and kept the Thunder to 7-118.
Australian pace bowler Darcie Brown (1-15) returned from a hamstring injury for her first WBBL game of the season and found instant form.
The Strikers went to 18 points with the win, two clear of Perth Scorchers and three ahead of Thunder.
Earlier, the Thunder started strongly with the ball.
Marizanne Kapp's opening over of the innings was made to order, trapping Katie Mack in front first ball.
The South Africa international snuck the fifth delivery under the bat of Australia star Tahlia McGrath (four) to have the visitors 2-4.
The low bounce was utilised perfectly by the Thunder attack as they put in an accomplished display of stump-to-stump bowling at its best.
The Strikers were 4-47 after 10 overs but Wolvaardt then stepped up to play the only substantial innings of the match.