The Adelaide Strikers kept their WBBL finals hopes alive by cruising to a clinical 30-run win over the Perth Scorchers despite oppressive heat in Alice Springs.
With the mercury sailing past 40 deg at Albrecht Oval, New Zealand allrounder Sophie Devine continued her rich vein of red-hot form with a match-winning 59 off 48 deliveries to underpin the Strikers’ 7-138.
In reply the Scorchers were bowled out for 108.
Bridget Patterson returned to form by whacking three sixes in her 32 to provide invaluable support for Devine after captain Suzie Bates chimed in with 22 at the top of the order.
Outstanding allrounder Heather Graham (2-25) extended her lead as this season’s top WBBL wicket-taker while Kate Cross, despite not picking up a wicket, was arguably the pick of the attack.
The England seamer conceded just 13 off her four overs and strangled the Strikers during the powerplay and the death to give Perth a fighting chance.
But the Scorchers found themselves in early trouble when in-form skipper Meg Lanning, who had posted four 70-plus scores in her previous five knocks, chipped Megan Schutt (2-21) to a diving Bates at cover in the opening over.
After starring with the bat, Devine then struck with her first ball, knocking over the dangerous Villani (13), who never quite looked right in her comeback from a hamstring strain.
The Scorchers looked gone at 5-59 when Graham departed cheaply before Lauren Ebsary threatened to produce a late twist.
The ex-Striker hit a breezy 38 but she lacked any support and eventually holed out to Tabitha Saville off experienced English spinner Danielle Hazell (3-20).
Sarah Coyte (3-20) mopped up the tail to help the rejuvenated Strikers extend their winning streak to three and move within one point of the fifth-placed Scorchers.
Both Adelaide and Perth remain reliant on the fourth-placed Melbourne Renegades losing both their matches this weekend to have any hope of making the top four.