The WBBL semi-finals are set, and the Sydney Sixers will take on the Melbourne Renegades, and the Sydney Thunder will take on the Brisbane Heat, with both matches at Drummoyne Oval on Saturday.
Adelaide Strikers v Hobart Hurricanes
The Strikers prevailed in the second super over match of the season, and once again, it was Suzie Bates who starred.
Bates and Tahlia McGrath put on 105 for the second wicket, and it was actually McGrath who was the aggressor, smashing nine fours and two sixes in her 63 off 42. After a relatively down season for McGrath, it was fantastic to see her back in the runs after being elevated to first drop again.
Let's just take a moment to admire this MONSTER 6⃣ from Tahlia McGrath 😱 #BlueEnergy #WBBL04 pic.twitter.com/dldZXSNxlm— AdelaideStrikersWBBL (@StrikersWBBL) January 9, 2019
Once McGrath was dismissed, Bates took over and closed the innings, with the Strikers scoring 45 runs off the last 14 balls, with 41 of those being scored by Devine, who came tantalisingly close to a century, ending on 99 not out.
189 was always going to be tough to chase, but Smriti Mandhana put Hobart in a great position with a whirlwind 52 off 25 at the top of the order.
Georgia Redmayne made an unbeaten half-century in the middle order with some help from Sasha Moloney and Veronica Pyke, and the Hurricanes looked as if they were going to pull off an improbable victory when they needed eight to win off the final over.
Two wickets in the first two balls swung the odds in the Strikers’ favour, and going into the final ball, Hobart needed four to tie. Tailender Katelyn Fryett was on strike and slapped a four through point to send the match to a super over.
Smriti Mandhana hit a six, and Hobart ended their over at 1/12, but it wasn’t nearly enough, because Sophie Devine chased it down in just three deliveries, hitting two sixes and a four.
The two teams met again the following day, and once again the Strikers were successful. McGrath continued her hot finish to the tournament, scoring 65 off just 39 deliveries. Devine and Suzie Bates both passed 30 at the top of the order to set up a fantastic platform for Adelaide.
Is it a bird?— AdelaideStrikersWBBL (@StrikersWBBL) January 9, 2019
Is it a plane?
No, it's @sophdevine77! 😇 #BlueEnergy #WBBL04 pic.twitter.com/GJGMScIxjN
These two matches showed the value of top order runs for a thin batting line-up like the Strikers, who should certainly be looking to acquire some middle order batters for next season.
Hobart’s disappointing season continued, and despite Heather Knight scoring a half-cenutry, they fell 25 runs short in a chase that never truly threatened Adelaide’s total.