Hometown hero stars in big win

Delissa Kimmince does it all for world champs

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Home-ground hero Delissa Kimmince has led the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars to a comfortable 63-run victory over Pakistan in the second Twenty20 International at the Gold Coast District Cricket Ground in Robina.

Kimmince tallied 43 off 48 balls at the top of the order before snaring a wicket with the new ball to earn player of the match honours and continue her side’s impressive form across all formats.

Star allrounder Ellyse Perry made her long-awaited return to international cricket after missing the one-day series and first T20 with a knee injury, scoring a quick-fire 16, while Jess Jonnasen was ruled out with quad soreness.

After winning the toss and opting to bat, Ellyse Villani and Kimmince cruised early, managing a run-a-ball without taking any undue risks.

That run-rate ballooned in the fifth and sixth overs - the opening pair trading lofted straight drives to reach 0-45.

But racing along with a strike-rate well above 100, Villani smacked a full delivery straight to extra cover to depart for 31 off 24 balls.

Struggles in the field dogged the Pakistan bowling effort in the middle overs, with a missed stumping, a tough dropped catch at cover and some clumsy fielding efforts on the boundary allowing the world champions to continue their build towards 150.

But the good fortune would disappear, Meg Lanning out on 22 when a big slice over cover perfectly picked out a fielder in the deep who held onto the swirling catch.

Alex Blackwell received the worst present possible on her birthday, an in-swinger making its way between bat and pad, bowling the 31-year-old first ball to have the home side teetering at 4-107.

Perry and Alyssa Healy then went about the mini-recovery, the pair adding a sound 33 for the fifth wicket before the returning allrounder picked out deep square leg.

After averaging less than nine through the ODI series, Healy added some handy late-innings runs to finish unbeaten on 26, the Southern Stars setting Pakistan 150 for victory.

Opening the bowling for the first time since bursting onto the scene as a tearaway quick back in 2008, Kimmince soon made the most of her home-ground advantage, drawing Marian Iqbal into a false drive that was caught easily by Perry at cover.

Sarah Coyte’s introduction then saw two wickets fall in quick succession; Healy exceptional behind the stumps in stumping Aliya Riaz before the T20 expert did it all herself, bowling Bismah Maroof for naught.

Erin Osborne and Megan Schutt chipped in with a wicket apiece, and a diving catch from Kimmince earned Julie Hunter her first scalp, the tourists all but defeated at 6-58 in the 13th over.

With an eye on surpassing their first T20I total of 92, Pakistan’s lower order attempted to hit out but only ended up gifting Rene Farrell two wickets in two balls and with it a 63-run victory.

Both sides will now have two days break, the series resuming with the third ODI at the Gold Coast District Cricket Ground in Robina on Wednesday.

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