Man of the Match: Sophie Devine
Adelaide Strikers take on a rather depleted Perth Scorchers in the first semi-final!
Adelaide Strikers Women to win!
|Brisbane Heat Women||14||10||4||0||0||20||0.723|
|Adelaide Strikers Women||14||10||4||0||0||20||-0.076|
|Perth Scorchers Women||14||9||5||0||0||18||0.008|
|Melbourne Renegades Women||14||8||6||0||0||16||0.117|
|Sydney Sixers Women||14||7||7||0||0||14||0.601|
|Sydney Thunder Women||14||5||8||0||1||11||-0.487|
|Hobart Hurricanes Women||14||4||9||0||1||9||-0.197|
|Melbourne Stars Women||14||2||12||0||0||4||-0.734|
It’s semi-final time and the Allan Border Field in Brisbane will host all the knockouts, including the final this season. Here are two consistent teams, Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers, who have more or less dominated the group stages. While the former finished second with 20 points (10 wins), Scorchers won nine games and ended with 18 points to be third on the points table.
Adelaide Strikers started the tournament indifferently and couldn’t really find their feet in the first few games. However, in the second half of the tournament, the Strikers won six games in a row to storm their way into the semi-finals. But their winning momentum was halted by Sydney Sixers in a dead-rubber game as they failed to chase down 178.
On the other hand, Perth Scorchers have had a stop-start kind of a start as they won and lost alternatively. However, once they settled down, the Scorchers picked up some momentum and won seven out of their last nine games.
Be it with bat or ball, it’s been Sophie Devine all the way for the Adelaide Strikers. She’s already been named the player of the tournament for this season. The New Zealand star has scored 699 runs at an average of 77.66 which includes eight half-centuries. She has also taken 16 wickets and has an economy of 6.35.
Apart from Devine, skipper Suzie Bates, Tahlia McGrath, and Bridget Patterson have scored runs but they’ve been inconsistent. All three of them have amassed more than 250 runs in this season so far. While Bates has made 297 runs, Patterson has scored 291 runs and McGrath has 258.
Lauren Winfield has been slightly disappointing with the bat but she will leave the tournament early due to national duty as England take on Pakistan in Malaysia. Tabatha Saville who played a few games last year for the Strikers might replace her.
The bowling has done really well. As mentioned, Devine has taken 16 wickets and so has Amanda Wellington. She has an average of 18.37 with the ball this season. Sarah Coyte has picked up 17 wickets and has also been economical. Megan Schutt may not have picked up a bucket load of wickets but she’s been very tight and economical.
Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates (C), Tahlia McGrath, Bridget Patterson, Lauren Winfield, Katie Mack, Amanda Wellington, Tegan McPharlin (WK), Sarah Cotye, Alex Price, Megan Schutt
|A Jade Wellington||22||12||2||1||183.33|
Megan Schutt, Alex Price, Amanda Jade Wellington, Bridget Patterson, Tegan McPharlin, Sophie Devine, Katie Mack, Tahlia McGrath, Suzie Bates, Annie O'Neil, Sarah Coyte
There is a pretty big void created in the Perth Scorchers side. The England star duo of Amy Ellen Jones and Natalie Sciver will miss the knockouts as they will be on national duty. The Scorchers did play without the star duo in the last game but didn’t feel the void due to Meg Lanning’s brilliance. The skipper scored a ton and continued her excellent form this season. She has scored 530 runs at an average of 44.16 in this edition and has led from the front.
Jones and Sciver were the other major contributors and the middle order hasn’t done a lot. The move to open with Nicole Bolton worked as she found some form and struck a near run-a-ball 44. The likes of Heather Graham and Chloe Piparo will need to step up and deliver.
Meanwhile, with the ball, it’s been Garth Kim and Heather Graham who have led the bowling charts for the Perth Scorchers. The former has picked up 13 wickets while Graham is the leading wicket-taker with 15 wickets.
Nicole Bolton, Meg Lanning (c), Georgia Redmayne (wk), Chloe Piparo, Mathilda Carmichael, Kath Hempenstall, Heather Graham, Kim Garth, Jemma Barsby, Taneale Peschel, Samantha Betts
Meg Lanning, Mathilda Carmichael, Taneale Peschel, Chloe Piparo, Nicole Bolton, Georgia Redmayne, Heather Graham, Kath Hempenstall, Kim Garth, Jemma Barsby, Samantha Betts
It is expected to be bright and sunny throughout the day in Brisbane. This is a 10 AM start and the temperatures will gradually rise through the game. The pitch has been slightly indifferent at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane during the group stages. However, it should be a decent one to bat on.
The Allan Border Field in Brisbane has already hosted five games so far in this fifth edition of the WBBL. The first four games were pretty low scoring ones as only one game saw a score of more than 140 being posted. However, in the game between Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Renegades, 184 was chased down.
It has been a tournament where teams batting second have won a lot more. Out of 55 games so far, 31 of them have been won by teams that have chased. Moreover, with the pitch slightly indifferent, both teams will want to field first. They will want to restrict the opposition and chase it down later.
If the two England stars, Jones and Sciver did not head back for the England-Pakistan series, it would’ve been almost 50-50. However, their absence from the Perth Scorchers line-up makes the Adelaide Strikers slight favorites going into this encounter. They’ve been running like a well-oiled machine and the presence and the phenomenal form of Sophie Devine makes a huge difference as well.
Adelaide Strikers Women to win!