Man of the Match: Beth Mooney
Table Toppers Adelaide Strikers look to do a double over the Brisbane Heat!
Adelaide Strikers to win!
|Sydney Thunder Women||6||4||1||0||1||9||-0.162|
|Adelaide Strikers Women||5||4||1||0||0||8||0.607|
|Sydney Sixers Women||5||4||1||0||0||8||0.254|
|Hobart Hurricanes Women||6||2||3||0||1||5||0.128|
|Brisbane Heat Women||5||2||3||0||0||4||0.822|
|Melbourne Renegades Women||6||2||4||0||0||4||-0.291|
|Perth Scorchers Women||5||2||3||0||0||4||-0.593|
|Melbourne Stars Women||6||1||5||0||0||2||-0.698|
The second match between these two teams in the space of two days and also the final match at Mackay this season, the result of this particular fixture could very well see the table giving a very different look.
On Saturday, Adelaide Strikers posted a convincing 8-wicket victory against the hosts with some superb performances from half-centurions Suzie Bates, Bridget Patterson and the entire bowling attack. Adelaide Strikers sit at the top spot right now due to their brilliant bowling efforts. Apart from the game against Melbourne Renegades, Adelaide Strikers have shown the quality and variety in their bowling attack in full measure. Megan Schutt for swing and variations, Sophie Devine for pace, Amanda Jade-Wellington for leg-spin, Alex Price for off-spin, Adelaide Strikers have an attack that is feared by all teams.
On the other hand, the defending champions Brisbane Heat have got off to a bad start with three losses in five games. The major problem for the Heat has been the lack of support for star batswomen Beth Mooney. A lot of the Heat's batters have been guilty of lack of strike rotation and rash shots. This was seen during the previous night's game too as more than half of Brisbane Heat's 139 in the first inning was scored by Mooney. While the bowling efforts led by young leggie Amelia Kerr was impressive, the below-par total didn’t give much of a chance for them to make an impact.
Meanwhile, apart from the obvious competition on the field, this match will provide an opportunity to have a final look at one of the lesser-used grounds in the form of Harrup Park in Mackay which usually hosts one or two games every season. Saturday's game has a huge crowd in attendance and more of the same on Sunday could make up for a thrilling spectacle.
Looking to stop the Strikers juggernaut will be Brisbane Heat, the reigning WBBL champion who has had a disappointing start to this new season. While most teams in the WBBL including the Adelaide Strikers have been great with the ball, Brisbane Heat's bowlers have neither been penetrative nor economical so far. Even though Jess Jonassen and Sammy Jo-Johnson lead the bowling charts for Brisbane Heat with 6 wickets apiece, it seems like only Amelia Kerr is a genuine wicket-taking option with her wicked googlies often being tough to read for batswomen in the WBBL. Even Delissa Kimmince who started for the Heat last season with 22 wickets hasn’t arrived at the party yet and this is a concern for the team while going into Sunday's match.
With the bat, like mentioned earlier, it has been only Beth Mooney who has fought a lone battle with 269 runs from five games while the likes of Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, and Maddy Green haven’t fired till now. It will be important for all these players to fire against Adelaide Strikers as their opponent could dismantle Brisbane Heat if they aren’t at their best. Heat will know that another loss could literally put them out of the reckoning for a Top 4 spot and this should ensure that they bring their A-game on Sunday.
G Harris, B Mooney (WK), J Jonassen, M Green, L Harris, K Short (C), A Kerr, S Jo-Johnson, D Kimmince, M Hinkley, G Prestwidge
|S Jo Johnson||3.0||0||23||1||7.67|
|S Jo Johnson||3.0||0||23||1||7.67|
Grace Harris, Beth Mooney, Maddy Green, Kirby Short, Jess Jonassen, Mikayla Hinkley, Amelia Kerr, Sammy Jo Johnson, Delissa Kimmince, Georgia Prestwidge, Laura Harris
The Strikers came into this season as one of the teams to watch out and the Adelaide-based outfit have hit all the right notes so far. With excellent signings including the star duo of Stafanie Taylor and Suzie Bates, the Strikers made some big moves in order to do well this season.
While Suzie Bates and Bridget Patterson finally came up with good performances on Saturday, it has been the Strikers’ superb bowling attack that has caught everyone’s attention. While the No.1 ranked T20I bowler Megan Schutt has been their best bowler with 7 wickets at an economy rate of 4.80, the likes of Tahlia McGrath, Sarah Coyte, Amanda Jade-Wellington, and Sophie Devine have complemented her in a very good way.
Batting-wise, Strikers are well-stocked with quality and depth with the likes of Tegan McPharlin and Amanda Jade-Wellington slated to bat at No. 7 and 8 respectively. While the duo of Sophie Devine and Tahlia McGrath led the show with the bat until the previous game, Strikers would be elated that Suzie Bates and Bridget Patterson have started to hit the ground running.
S Bates (C), S Devine, T McGrath, B Patterson, L Winfield, K Mack, T McPharlin (WK), A Wellington, S Coyte, A Price, M Schutt
Megan Schutt, Alex Price, Sophie Devine, Tegan McPharlin, Lauren Winfield, Katie Mack, Tahlia McGrath, Suzie Bates, Bridget Patterson, Sarah Coyte, Amanda Jade Wellington
The Harrup Park pitch generally tends to be a favorable one for good scores but it will also provide more than enough purchase for spinners. Amanda Jade-Wellington and Amelia Kerr had very good outings while off-pace deliveries from medium pacers also worked superbly on Saturday. Thus after taking the pitch and lightning outfield into the equation, a total around 150-160 would be required to be on the front seat. Meanwhile, the weather forecast is a good one with a warm day in the offing.
Just like most other grounds in the country, the Harrup Park in Mackay is also a multi-sport venue with it playing host to AFL Women's matches. With respect to cricket, this venue has been mostly restricted to domestic matches and A team tournaments. The only International game to be played at this venue was the India Vs Sri Lanka fixture during the 1992 World Cup. Unfortunately, that match was abandoned due to inclement weather.
Given the predictable batting-friendly conditions at Harrup Park, it would be a no-brainer for the captain who wins the toss to field first. The pitch should play the same through the 40 overs and hence there shouldn’t be any confusion in the minds of the two captains.
Looking at the form and quality that is available at Adelaide Strikers' disposal, it is very tough to go against them and hence they would be expected to post a convincing victory on Sunday. If Brisbane are going to upset them, then the likes of Grace Harris, Maddy Green and Laura Harris would need to start supporting Beth Mooney with some proper batting efforts.
Adelaide Strikers to win!