The WBBL ladder is starting to take shape after another massive round of matches.
The two Sydney teams sit first and second on the table, while Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne Stars all have four wins each. The Hurricanes will need to come home with a barnstorming finish to make the finals, but the rest of the competition is well and truly alive.
Hurricanes v Scorchers
The round started with a big win for the Scorchers, but Hobart’s openers got them off to a flyer, putting on 59 runs for the first wicket in the powerplay. They had contributors throughout the order, but no one could convert their start. Sasha Moloney found the boundary late, with a handy cameo of 23 including three fours and a big slog sweep six over square leg.
Perth’s chase was on track the entire time, but they kept losing wickets when they built partnerships. The innings mirrored the Hurricanes in that they had contributors all through the order, but no one could convert a start.
Going into the last two overs Perth needed 25 off 12 – then the Heather Graham show started. With Perth needing 22 off 9 and the match looking out of reach, she struck her first boundary, a lusty blow over cow corner. Still, going into the last over, Perth needed 17 to win, with Heather Knight to bowl it.
WICKET!@Heatherknight55 traps Bolton in front with her first delivery of the afternoon 👌— HurricanesWBBL (@HurricanesWBBL) December 18, 2018
She'll send the next one down to a familiar face, England teammate Kate Cross.
Scorchers 2-55 early in the eight over.#TasmaniasTeam #WBBL04 pic.twitter.com/su1omQwmVr
On the second ball, Graham once again targeted cow corner with a slog sweep and found the boundary, and the very next ball she struck a boundary over cover before three consecutive slogs to the mid-wicket fence for two levelled the scores after 20 overs.
This took us to the first super over of the competition. Perth batted first, and sent out Nicole Bolton and Ellyse Villani, while Brooke Hepburn took the ball. Bolton found the boundary twice, setting an imposing target of 16 off one over. Hobart opened with Smriti Mandhana and Heather Knight, but Heather Graham was too good, with both batters dismissed and Hobart falling 6 runs short as Perth snatched the unlikeliest of victories from the jaws of defeat.
Stars v Heat
The Heat cruised to a comfortable victory thanks to a record-breaking century from Grace Harris at the Gabba.
Today, Grace Harris constructed the fastest century in WBBL history!— Rebel Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) December 19, 2018
From 42 balls, she hit 13 fours and 6 sixes, totaling 101* runs.
Simply remarkable, @189Grace 👏 #WBBL04 #WATCHME pic.twitter.com/gU20wSGllf
The Stars batted first but didn’t score nearly quickly enough, with top order batters Ange Reakes (strike rate 100) and Katie Mack (76.47) struggling to score. Their total never looked to be enough and Grace Harris made short work of it, smashing the fastest ever WBBL century, 101 off 42 balls with 13 fours 6 sixes.
She set the tone in the second over of the innings, smashing four boundaries off of Erin Osborne, but the last four innings of the sixth over, bowled by Kristen Beams, were the highlight of Harris’s innings, with two fours and two sixes over long off and cow corner showcasing her incredible array of strokes.
One particularly unique over was the tenth, bowled by Ange Reakes, which saw 21 runs come off first two (legal) deliveries of the over due to a combination of wides, no balls and sixes.
Finally, there were hilarious scenes in the final over as Beth Mooney sent Grace Harris back despite an easy single being available because scores were level, but Harris was on 95 and Mooney wanted her partner to get her century. Eventually, on the last ball of the over, Harris cleared the long on boundary to bring up her century and guide her side to a comfortable win.