Rebel WBBL|03

The WBBL|03 season that was: Thunder

The Thunder returned to their best in WBBL|03, establishing themselves as one of the pacesetters in the league

Susie Giese

8 February 2018, 02:03 PM AEST

Position: 2nd (but lost in semi-final)

Wins: 10 Losses: 5

Highest total: 6-200 v Melbourne Renegades on December 9

WBBL|03 season highlights: Thunder

Highest individual score: Alex Blackwell, 81 not out v Scorchers

Best individual bowling figures: Stafanie Taylor, 4-15 v Hurricanes

Highlights: After missing out on finals last season, Thunder held top spot for much of the season, jostling with – and being overtaken on the last weekend by – eventual  champions Sydney Sixers.

Thunder held on for a nail-biting one-run win over Perth Scorchers in a thriller at Lilac Hill, with Nicola Carey showing nerves of steel and taking 2-6 in the final over to secure the win.

Match highlights: Thunder sneaks home in thriller

The lime green team became the first in Rebel WBBL history to crack the 200-run mark, doing so in their season opener against Melbourne Renegades, with Rachael Haynes making 55 and Carey (47no) and Rene Farrell (25no) combining for an unbeaten 83-run seventh wicket stand.

Bowling ace: Rene Farrell put in another strong season with the ball for the Thunder, taking 17 wickets for the season and was a trusted go-to to get early wickets or break partnerships.

In-form Farrell collects three scalps

Batting star: Rachael Haynes took her WBBL game to another level this summer. Fresh off captaining her country in the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes series, she belted 426 runs at 30.43, with four half-centuries – she’d reached the milestone just once in the two seasons prior.

On the rise: Belinda Vakarewa is not a new face among the Thunder, having played 18 matches across the opening two seasons, but she took another step forward with her bowling, claiming 11 scalps (after seven across the opening two seasons) and going at an economy of just 5.69.

Vakarewa goes straight through Beaumont

What they need for WBBL|04: To keep their list together. The Thunder have a strong squad, and it showed across an impressive season, in which they often held top spot on the ladder. But they just came undone at the hands of a red-hot Scorchers side in the semi-final.

Rachael Haynes highlights: WBBL|03

In a nutshell: After a disappointing WBBL|02 campaign, the inaugural season champions were right back in the thick of the action this summer. They were off to a flier, winning six of their first seven matches to quickly establish themselves as one of the big contenders for finals, and were never out of the frame as a title chance. Established players like Rachael Haynes and Alex Blackwell were steady influences, recruit Rachel Priest was an excellent addition at the top of the order, and younger players, including Nicola Carey and Naomi Stalenberg, became consistent contributors.

Stalenberg takes a screamer at the SCG

WBBL|03 squad: Alex Blackwell (c), Sam Bates, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Rene Farrell, Maisy Gibson, Lisa Griffith, Rachael Haynes, Harmanpreet Kaur (IND), Rachel Priest (NZ), Naomi Stalenberg, Stafanie Taylor (WI), Rachel Trenaman, Hannah Trethewy, Belinda Vakarewa, Fran Wilson (replacement overseas player), Sterre Kallis (rookie), Hayley Silver-Holmes (rookie).