The Sixers have gone from being last place in WBBL|07 to on top of the table this season. (Image: Sydney Sixers/Twitter)

The fight for a spot in the finals is getting more intense and competitive than ever, with several teams rising as a genuine chance to sneak in for the WBBL|08 finals and set themselves apart from the rest of the league.

The Inner Sanctum recaps all the results and the biggest talking points of round five of WBBL|08.

Round 5 Results:

Brisbane Heat (7-153) defeated the Perth Scorchers (8-120) by 33 runs

Heat: Redmayne 28, Grace Harris 25, Marizanne Alana King 2-24, Kapp 2-25, 

Scorchers: Maddy Green 58, Mathilda Carmichael 17, Nicola Hancock 3-26

Sydney Sixers vs Melbourne Renegades had no result 

Hobart Hurricanes (4-152) defeated the Adelaide Strikers (4-129) by 23 runs 

Hurricanes: Heather Graham 50, Elyse Vilani 47, Amanda-Jade Wellington 2-31

Strikers: Laura Wolvaardt 45, Tahlia McGrath 27, Molly Strano 2-21, Nicola Carey 2-24

Perth Scorchers (4-192) defeated the Melbourne Renegades (88) by 104 runs

Scorchers: Beth Mooney 90, Marizanne Keep 68*, Hayley Matthews 1-46

Renegades: Erica Kershaw 25, Carly Leeson 16, Piepa Cleary 2-6, Alana King 2-18

Sydney Sixers (9-160) defeated the Melbourne Stars (115) by 45 runs

Sixers: Alyssa Healy 31, Ash Gardner 28, Kim Garth 2-9, Sasha Moloney 2-32

Stars: Kim Garth 18, Alice Capsey 15, Ash Gardner 4-27, Lauren. Cheatle 2-19

Hobart Hurricanes (4-101) defeated the Brisbane Heat (6-100) by 6 wickets 

Hurricanes: Mignon du Preez 37, Elyse Villani 26*, Nicola Hancock 2-20

Heat: Grace Harris 41, Laura Harris 32, Hayley Jensen 1-9, Molly Strano 1-13

Sydney Sixers (4-180) defeated the Perth Scorchers (4-176) by 6 wickets 

Sixers: Alyssa Healy 107*, Ellyse Perry 48, Sophie Devine 2-29, Piepa Cleary 2-52

Scorchers: Beth Mooney 75*, Marizanne Kepp 68, Ash Gardner 2-30, Ellyse Perry 1-15

Adelaide Strikers vs Sydney Thunder had no result

Melbourne Stars (5-149) defeated the Melbourne Renegades (8-148) by 5 wickets 

Stars: Anna Sutherland 62*, Bess Heath 31, Sarah Coyte 3-22, Hayley Matthews 2-28

Renegades: Josie Dooley 54, Courtney Webb 24, Sasha Moloney 4-15, Anna Sutherland 3-37

Brisbane Heat (6-114) defeated the Adelaide Strikers (115) by 2 runs 

Heat: Amelia Kerr 32, Laura Harris 20, Megan Schutt 3-38, Deandra Dottin 2-22

Strikers: Laura Wolvaardt 45, Megan Schutt 18*, Amelia Kerr 3-26, Nicola Hancock 2-25

Melbourne Renegades (2-98) defeated the Sydney Thunder (95) by 8 wickets

Renegades: Hayley Matthews 46*, Courtney Webb 21*, Lauren Smith 1-12, Sammy-Jo Johnson 1-28

Thunder: Tahlia Wilson 20, Sammy-Jo Johnson 16, Georgia Prestwidge 3-22, Sarah Coyte 2-12

Hobart Hurricanes (7-152) defeated the Melbourne Stars (6-114) by 38 runs

Hurricanes: Mignon du Preez 50*, Nicola Carey 27, Alice Capsey 2-14

Stars: Alice Capsey 38, Lauren Winfield-Hill 22, Hayley Jensen 2-24

Sydney Sixers (5-164) defeated the Brisbane Heat (5-163) by 5 wickets 

Sixers: Erin Burns 51*, Sophie Ecclestone 47*, Jess Kerr 1-29, Nicola Hancock, 1-30

Heat: Jess Jonassen 38*, Danielle Wyatt 31, Kate Peterson 4-17, Ash Gardner 1-31

Five Talking Points: 

Defence Helps Wins Games

Good bowling and fielding are so crucial in the final games of the season, especially for a spot in the finals. 

Multiple games this round have seen one of the teams bowled out, causing big losses, showcasing the good teams and their ability to adjust properly against their opponents. 

Perth Scorchers are one of the most talented batting groups constructed this season, and their bowling and fielding have taken big leaps. 

The Brisbane Heat have impressed this season, including scrapping by to defeat the Strikers via the DLS method.

Their strike bowling shows why they’re second in the standings this season, being able to play in games that go down the wire and have the players create a spark that makes the game easy for everyone. 

Milestones aplenty 

The WBBL this week also showcased the talented, and experienced players the sport of cricket has on display, especially in this competition.

South African allrounder Marizanne Kapp has now made over 1000 runs in the WBBL, joining the 4-digit club.

Joining Marizanne Kapp on the 1000-run milestone is her countrywoman, Adelaide Strikers’ Laura Wolvaardt, who achieved the milestone the day before the Scorchers all-rounder.

One of the most experienced players in WBBL history, Beth Mooney created a very exclusive club, being the first player to achieve 4000 runs in her career.

Hobart Hurricanes captain Elyse Villani passed 3000 runs in her career, becoming one of four players to achieve this milestone.

On the way to getting 41 runs in her performance against the Heat to end the round, New Zealand stalwart Suzie Bates established herself in the 2000-run club with a backfoot drive for four runs in the second ball of the 7th over.

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Weaker Batting Production

The Melbourne Renegades and Stars, as well as the Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Thunder, had a game where they were bowled out. 

The gap between the good teams and the teams below the top four is large. 

There were multiple games where teams aren’t reaching 100 runs or barely scratching over 100 is concerning, especially at this point in the season. 

The Strikers are not far from sneaking into 4th place, and having poor games like this is dangerous and could erase their chances of a spot in the finals.

Unique statlines 

Ash Gardner is the first player in the WBBL to score 25+ runs and take 3+ wickets in the same match three times in the one WBBL series.

Against the Hobart Hurricanes to begin the series, she hit 43 runs from 22 balls and her bowling performance to kick the season off was incredible, recording 4-23.

At the beginning of November, against the Strikers, Gardner scored 53 from 37 when batting and 3-22 in her bowling.

Against the Melbourne Stars this round, Gardner scored 28 from 17 balls when batting and 4-27 when the Sixers would bowl out this Melbourne squad.

Her experience and being able to perform consistently and at a high standard and be ready anytime to step up regardless of the game has been super crucial for the Sixers’ success, especially this season.

Finals Previews

The Sydney Sixers vs Perth Scorchers matchup on November 13th was a battle for the ages, a matchup we could be seeing yet again in the finals. 

Both teams’ batting and bowling performances were top-tier and showed why they are in the top four this season.

Alyssa Healy starred, putting in a very high quality, strong batting performance with 107 runs off 64 balls and not being out, winning the game on the last ball.

The Scorchers’ strategy of the use of spin bowlers put the Sixers in a more conformable position to be aggressive and close the difference, getting the game to go down to the wire.

The slow start to the Scorchers batting in the first four overs (2-25) put a lot of pressure on the batters coming in to spark a scoring rhythm.

The Sixers also defeated the Brisbane Heat to end the round, winning with 3 balls left to face in the final over.

The bowling magic Kate Peterson sparked out of nowhere massively set the tone of what the Heat needed to replicate when the Sixers were batting.

The aggressive attack off the backfoot the Heat were trying to spark didn’t manifest and would be the cause of the majority of their wickets.

The start to the Sixers’ batting innings with Bates and the duo of Erin Burns and Sophie Ecclestone were the major contributors.

Round 6 of the WBBL|08 season will start on November the 18th at 3:40 pm AEDT when the Adelaide Strikers verse the Hobart Hurricanes at North Sydney Oval in a must-win for the Strikers.

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