Strikers bowl their way into WBBL Final

Laura Wolvaardt and Katie Mack
Laura Wolvaardt and Katie Mack celebrate the winning runs as the Strikers' qualify for the WBBL Final. (Image: Dani Brown)

A big tournament continues for the Adelaide Strikers, their nine wicket demolition of the Melbourne Renegades earning them a place in the WBBL Final on Saturday night. 

Another bowling masterclass and impressive batting from the openers catapulted the fourth-finishing Strikers into the clash with the Perth Scorchers. 

The Strikers will be running on the adrenaline Katie Mack spoke about earlier this week, as they will play their fifth game in eight days on the weekend. 

“I suppose all of the girls will be up and about with these tougher finals wins,” Darcie Brown said post-match. 

“We know the Scorchers are going to bring it no matter what and not go easy, [we have to] just try and keep the foot down on the throttle while we’ve got this momentum.”

Sophie Molineux, who did not bat and bowled just two overs due to what is believed to be a lower leg injury, congratulates Katie Mack and Laura Wolvaardt. (Image: Dani Brown)

Bowling masterclass

It was another superb effort with the ball from the Adelaide Strikers, who bowled the Melbourne Renegades out for 83 runs. 

It began with Megan Schutt striking with the very first delivery and continued as Brown chimed in with two wickets from her pace bowling for just nine runs. 

While Amanda-Jade Wellington could not quite reproduce her 5/8 from last night’s match, she did manage to take one – Carly Leeson – and move to outright leader in the ‘Golden Arm’ standings. 

She also chimed in with a run out off her own bowling, when Eve Jones hit one straight back to her, only for Wellington’s fingertips to touch it before taking the stumps, running out Courtney Webb without facing a ball. 

The only bowler not to take a wicket was Sarah Coyte, however, she still found a way to have an impact with the ball. 

Fielding at mid off, she fumbled on the circle, but her ability to gather and send an attacking throw in at the stumps resulted in a direct hit run out and dismissed Jones for 14 (from 16).

Schutt finished with 2/23 from her four overs, while McGrath’s 1/12 was also impressive and much tighter than her recent innings.

Her wicket was Player of the Tournament as well, Harmanpreet Kaur, trapped lbw for seven.

Brown was named Player of the Match for her 2/9, yet another accolade for the young Australian star.  

Mack goes whack with van Niekerk

Katie Mack and Dané van Niekerk opened with the bat and dominated from the word go, the 

South African van Niekerk was almost stumped by Josie Dooley, but after the third umpire deliberated for a while she remained at the crease, not out. 

She was troubled by a knock to the lower arm, but van Niekerk continued on until she was ultimately caught at mid off (43 from 30).

Dane van Niekerk creams one for four. (Image: Dani Brown)

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Laura Wolvaardt came to the crease with 12 runs required and got straight into scoring the final runs, while also enjoying some valuable time in the middle ahead of Saturday’s final. 

Between Mack and Wolvaardt the final runs came in the eleventh over with a stunning four off the bat of Mack. 

Speaking of Mack’s form at the back end of this WBBL season, Brown said she’s been “unbelievable” for the Strikers this year. 

“We’re all pretty proud of Katie and what she’s done with the bat and also in the field as well,” Brown said.

“Credit to her and what she’s done, the past however many years she’s been playing. It’s really good to see it all come together for her this season.”

The Strikers’ bowling unit will have to be at their best one final time for WBBL|07 when they look to remove dangerous openers Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney before they do too much damage on Saturday.

Looking ahead at the clash, Brown admitted it will be important to strike in the Powerplay again, as she has done many times this season. 

“Soph and Moons, they’re quality and they’re key wickets for us, because you know that they don’t get out too often,” she said. 

“We’ll just try and take our chances when we can, and hopefully we get some chances as well.

“[We’re] looking forward to the battle, but we know that they’re a pretty good side and we’ll see what happens come Saturday.”

The Adelaide Strikers now head to Perth where they face the Scorchers in the WBBL Final on Saturday at 7:10pm AEDT. 

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