Adelaide Strikers Bridget Patterson and Madeline Penna celebrate winning The Challenger on Thursday night (Picture: Adelaide Strikers/Twitter)

The Strikers have taken another step towards WBBL finals redemption winning The Challenger in front of a packed Karen Rolton Oval on Thursday night. Striker veteran batter Bridget Patterson featured with a classy knock to seal victory for her side with two balls to spare.

Losing to the eventual champions the Perth Scorchers last season, the Strikers will continue to look for redemption in Sydney when they face the Sydney Sixers on Saturday. The Sixers themselves are also seeking redemption for a poor WBBL|07 which saw them finish on the bottom of the ladder.

On Thursday night it was a spell-binding knock by Patterson that gave Adelaide the upper hand. Her own performance as well as her team’s made the Heat pay for their wasteful fielding that failed to capitalise on the Heat bowlers bowling well to their fields.

Patterson was the second highest run scorer for the Strikers, scoring 46 runs unbeaten off 26 balls which included five fours and a six. Two boundaries came off the bowling of Courtney Sippel who will be disappointed at dropping the catches that would have seen the back of the dangerous duo, Deandra Dottin and Laura Wolvaardt who also contributed to the victory in key ways.

Scoring her highest score of the last month, it was Patterson’s biggest performance for this WBBL season that helped her win the Player of the Match award post-match. Her partnership with Madeline Penna being the one that seal the victory, with Penna hitting two boundaries off Amelia Kerr’s bowling.

To get the Strikers within reach before Patterson’s arrival at the crease, it was the efforts of Dottin and Wolvaardt who set up the innings. Dottin hit a quickfire 39 off just 21 balls including three fours and three sixes after taking 11 balls to settle in.

Her partnership with Wolvaardt showed the strength of the Strikers’ batting line-up with captain Tahlia McGrath and the consistent batting of Katie Mack in the shed. Scoring close to a run a ball, the 47 runs Wolvaardt made became the steady influence they needed at the crease to consolidate the innings.

After her wicket was taken they needed 33 off 20 balls which gave the Strikers the hope they needed to pull through the end of their batting innings.

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In the first half, it was the Heat on the ropes early in their batting innings to bring the match. Being four wickets down for 88 runs at the 14 over mark they needed to take the power surge to help Laura Harris to be the difference again.

Another sublime display of power-hitting saw her become the second highest run scorer behind New Zealand international Amelia Kerr. Harris hit 33 off just 14 deliveries with eight fours, all coming from the Strikers’ Australian pace attack of Darcie Brown and Megan Schutt.

Amelia Kerr’s innings serving as a much-needed anchor for the Heat who were reeling early. Openers Danni Wyatt and Georgia Redmayne were removed inside the first three overs by Brown and Schutt to get the Strikers’ tail up.

After the key partnership of Laura Harris and Amelia Kerr was broken, the Heat would make only 15 runs while losing the wickets of captain Jess Jonassen and Nicola Hancock to end on a total of 154 at the innings break.

Adding insult to injury, the Brisbane Heat lost their wicketkeeper and WBBL|08 leading run scorer Georgia Redmayne to a calf injury late in the fielding innings with Ellie Johnston coming on in her place.

The Strikers will face the Sydney Sixers in the WBBL|08 final at North Sydney Oval on Saturday, the Strikers will look to win their maiden title while the Sixers will look to make it their third.

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