Heather Knight proud of Sydney Thunder’s resurgent season despite running out of steam in WBBL 2023-24

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Captain Heather Knight urged Sydney Thunder to take inspiration from their late-season downturn, despite the disappointment of their loss in the WBBL elimination final. She expressed her belief that the team should be proud of their impressive turnaround in the competition. Thunder, who had finished last in the previous season, suffered a 44-run defeat to the Brisbane Heat in the elimination final at the WACA ground, ending a season that saw them lose six of their final seven matches. This was a stark contrast to their earlier form, which had seen them top the ladder after round eight.

Knight acknowledged the frustration of their late-season fatigue, stating, “We just kind of lost momentum…the form dropped off a little and we looked a bit tired. But I still think it’s a season that the girls can be proud of.” The team had struggled in the past two seasons, winning only five games, but their resurgence under new leadership was a point of pride. Knight also emphasized the role of young players in their development and adaptation to different conditions.

However, the elimination final highlighted Thunder’s struggles, particularly in terms of their bowling and batting. The team heavily relied on opener Chamari Athapaththu, who was named the player of the tournament in her debut season with the team. But as the season progressed, Thunder’s batting order became increasingly vulnerable, and they ultimately fell short in the final.

Knight acknowledged the challenges of adjusting to heightened expectations and the pressure of being at the top of the ladder. She stressed the importance of this experience as a learning opportunity for the team and expressed confidence in their ability to compete at the highest levels. Despite the disappointment of their elimination final defeat, she highlighted the team’s achievement in making it to the final stages, and urged them to continue to believe in their ability to compete in the top four.

The article was written by journalist Tristan Lavalette, who is based in Perth.

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