‘Just wasn’t enough in the end’: Strikers go down in second-ever WBBL Final

Having tons of momentum heading into the match, it still wasn’t enough to get the Strikers their first WBBL title.

Adelaide had won the last two finals at Adelaide Oval by eight and nine wickets against the Heat and the Renegades.

However the Strikers couldn’t finish it off, losing by 12 runs in front of a standalone-WBBL record of over 15,000 spectators at Optus Stadium.

Adelaide restricted Perth to 5/146 in their 20 overs, with captain Tahlia McGrath saying postgame to the media “that [it] was probably par” on a bouncy Perth wicket. 

But, it was their powerplay that let them down. Out of the six overs, two of them were maidens from Scorchers captain Sophie Devine and Player of the Match Marizanne Kapp.

There were also 28 dots during it, leaving them in a rough position at 2/16 at the end of it.

McGrath and Laura Wolvaardt started to build a promising partnership, scoring 65 runs off 50 balls. 

But, despite a promising knock from Madeline Penna, the Strikers lost the wickets of McGrath and Wolvaardt right before the 15 over mark, losing their second WBBL final in three seasons.

McGrath said the powerplay cost them, giving her team too much work to do towards the end.

“They bowled really well up front in the powerplay, it just probably left us a little bit too much to do in the back end,” McGrath said.

“We put up a good fight, but just wasn’t enough in the end.”

She added that the wicket was a bit bouncier than they thought, with the Scorchers taking advantage of that.

“The pitch played pretty well, the only thing is it was a tiny bit bouncier than we thought and they used that to their advantage”.

Whilst she said this loss will hurt them, McGrath believes they’ll come back stronger in WBBL08.

“We’d had a really good feeling all season and just to fall at the last hurdle was pretty disappointing,” McGrath said.

“Dust yourself off and come back bigger and better next year because we’ve got a really good core group”. 

Most of their core are signed on for next season, with most on multi-year deals. This includes McGrath herself, Madeline Penna, Megan Schutt, Amanda-Jade Wellington and Darcie Brown.

McGrath believes there’ll be that extra bit of hunger among herself and the group in WBBL08.

“The hunger will be there, we absolutely love the Big Bash competition and it’s a trophy that’s missing in the Strikers trophy cabinet so we’ll be back.”

The captain has also had a terrific summer so far. This WBBL season she scored the 13th most runs with 338 and got 12 wickets, continuing on her strong form from the series versus India.

McGrath said she’s been very happy with her summer so far with the Strikers and the Australian national team.

“I’ve loved this summer, to work myself back into the Australian side and then to captain the Strikers, it’s been a hell of a summer and I’ve loved every minute of it.”

She was also excited with the big crowd at Optus Stadium last night, hoping there’s more games with that big of a crowd.

“The women’s game’s gone from strength to strength and hopefully we [have] some more games with crowds like this in attendance.”

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