Meg Lanning

The Stars, and Meg Lanning will be hoping for more of this on the weekend. (PIcture: Melbourne Stars/Twitter)

With two crucial games to come this weekend, Stars captain Meg Lanning is confident the Stars can push to return to the WBBL knockout stage for the second year in a row.

With two crucial games to come this weekend, Melbourne Stars captain Meg Lanning is confident her side can push to return to the WBBL knockout stage for the second year in a row.

The recent eight-wicket win over the Brisbane Heat has given Lanning encouragement that the best is yet to come for Team Green, and it was woman of the match Tess Flintoff that she singled out for praise.

“She’s really keen to learn, and wants to be as good as she can,” Lanning said.

“The great thing about WBBL is that it provides a platform for young players to come in and express themselves and I really love seeing how Tess has gone about it.”

One of the best assets for the Stars this season has been new recruit Kim Garth, with 11 wickets in the tournament, putting her second in the Golden Arm rankings behind Jess Jonassen of the Heat.

Lanning spoke about the impact the Irish national, now Victorian-based Garth has had.

“She’s been a great asset with the new ball. I think what it has shown is that early wickets can have a major impact, and for her to have been able to do that for us has been exceptional,” she said.

“To be able to swing the ball up front, it allows her to be pretty attacking, and the other thing is, she can come back and bowl at any point in the innings, with a sort of change of pace.

“She’s a nice bowler to have as a captain, so it’s nice to see her being so successful.”

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Lanning is confident that the young side will keep the ball rolling in the games to come against the Strikers and Renegades on the weekend, and is hopeful that they can continue to grow over the remainder of the tournament.

“At times it is going to be inconsistent, and it may not execute the way we want it to but I think the planning and the chats that we’ve had behind the scenes of games is really exciting, so hopefully it’s starting to show on the field,” she said.

“I think the last few games have shown that it’s starting to happen, so hopefully that’s a sign of things to come for the tournament.”

With the Strikers and the Renegades among the most challenging assignments in WBBL, Lanning will be hoping for continued good form from the bowling lineup.

“The Strikers have got tremendous depth within their squad, which I think is really important, and they’ve got fantastic players, [like] Laura Wolvaardt [and], Tahlia McGrath, those players are really dangerous,” she said.

“Derbies are [also] something you look forward to, it’s certainly a game we want to win, it would be nice to get one up on them [the Renegades] leading into the back end of the season.

“They’ve been playing some really good cricket, with multiple contributors along the way so I think it’s setting up to be a really exciting contest.

“You’ve gotta make sure, you’re executing on the day as much as you can, I think that’s what it comes down to.

“We feel like we’ve got the firepower to match both of these teams coming up on the weekend, and if we settle into these games nicely then we’re able to go out there, have some fun, enjoy ourselves, and hopefully they’re two great contests.”

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