Garth leads Stars to WBBL win over Thunder

Elyse Villani has brought up 2500 WBBL runs in the Melbourne Stars' win over the Sydney Thunder.
Elyse Villani has brought up 2500 WBBL runs in the Melbourne Stars' win over the Sydney Thunder.

A stunning burst from Irish quick Kim Garth has powered the Melbourne Stars to a crucial 12-run WBBL triumph over winless defending champions Sydney Thunder.

Restricting the Stars to 7-108 batting first, the Thunder were in the box-seat to break through for their first win of the season.

But Garth had other ideas, ripping through the Thunder's top order with three wickets and three maidens from her first spell.

After dismissing Tahlia Wilson and teenage sensation Phoebe Litchfield, Garth knocked over Corinne Hall to have the Thunder's chase in tatters.

The Thunder's efforts of 4-13 were the worst by any side in a powerplay this season.

Garth's perfect figures were ruined when she came back on to bowl the final over of the game, but the 25-year-old still finished with a tidy 3-10.

Opener Elyse Villani held the Stars' innings together, hitting a patient 52 from 63 balls, before losing her wicket with two balls remaining.

During the knock, Villani became the fifth player to pass 2500 career runs in the WBBL, joining Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Sophie Devine and Meg Lanning.

It was sweet revenge for the Stars, who were thrashed by the Thunder in last year's final in pursuit of their first title.

"To be able to fight our way back into that game was a great effort," Stars captain Lanning said.

"Kim Garth set the tone with the ball and at the halfway mark we still thought we were in the game."

The Thunder now have three defeats and a no-result from their first four games.

In Tuesday's second game, the Hobart Hurricanes will seek to leapfrog Brisbane Heat into second on the table when the title contenders clash.

Australian Associated Press