The semi-finals of the WBBL kick-off tomorrow afternoon in Perth as Sydney Thunder and Perth Scorchers battle it out for a place in the final.
The Scorchers dominated the Renegades last weekend, chasing down the required runs in just over 16 overs.
Perth’s bowling was a feature of the performance, with Katherine Brunt, Heather Graham and Piepa Cleary all taking multiple wickets.
Thunder bounced back from a disappointing loss to defeat Brisbane on Sunday as the bowlers dismissed the Heat out for 115.
However, it is worth remembering that the Heat may have won this game had they not tried to win it within 16.2 overs to make the finals.
In this match, plenty of pressure will be on the Thunder batters, who have struggled to fire recently.
Aussie skipper Rachael Haynes and Thunder skipper Alex Blackwell have enjoyed solid seasons, with both women averaging over 32, but internationals Rachel Priest and Stefanie Taylor need to improve after scoring just one 50 between them this season.
For the Scorchers, openers Elyse Villani and Nicole Bolton have been fantastic, with both batters scoring over 400 runs for the tournament.
In the middle order, Nat Sciver and Lauren Ebsary have both been in good form recently, which gives the Scorchers considerable depth in their batting.
Both teams have fantastic bowling attacks, headlined by Rene Farrell and Katherine Brunt.
Ultimately, T20 is a batters’ game and this contest will come down to whichever team bats better.
Last time they met
When these two teams met on January 8th, the Scorchers caused a stunning upset which kick started their finals campaign. Just a day earlier they had come agonisingly close to victory, losing by just one run in the final over. The next day, Alex Blackwell played a brilliant knock, ending the innings on 81 not out. The chase never looked in doubt for the Scorchers, as English imports Nat Sciver (61) and Katherine Brunt (17) guided them to a comfortable victory.
Player to watch: Elyse Villani (Perth Scorchers)
There are plenty of superstars on both sides, and Elyse Villani is certainly among them. Only Ellyse Perry has more runs, but considering Villani is scoring at a strike rate of 134 compared to Perry’s 102, it is arguable that Villani has been the best batter this season. She has passed 50 five times but has reached that milestone just once in the last eight matches. The Scorchers will be hoping desperately that she recaptures her early season form as her combination with Nicole Bolton at the top of the order will be crucial to Perth’s chances.