Weatherald is unsurprisingly player of the match.
Short is player of the tournament, and will be off to play in the IPL after finishing off an ongoing tournament for Australia. Big few weeks for him.
Bailey gives a typically gracious speech about the quality of the Strikers set-up, and how the focus should be on them, while emphasising that he’s more proud of his team’s season than disappointed about today.
And Travis Head makes sure to reciprocate, and to thank the local crowd.
Everyone gets a medal (bloody modern political correctness coddled millennial et cetera), and the kids get a hat (ruining our youth for life), and the Strikers coach Jason Gillespie comes up with Head to receive the trophy. Blue tickertape flies. Lights may or may not come on or go off, you can’t tell because it’s still daylight. But the trophy lights up blue, and that will be a handy feature on the Jive dancefloor at about 4am this morning.
That’s the Big Bash that was! It’s all over, go home. Good to have your company, and as Jake Weatherald makes tickertape angels on the Adelaide Oval turf, we’ll see you for more Bigging and Bashing next year.
For Hobart, you’d have to say the occasion got to them. Their bowling was erratic, with too many freebies. They dropped Travis Head twice, and gave away overthrows. As the game started to slip, it didn’t seem like they had a way back.
Then with the bat, they started well before slipping away. I have to reiterate, it was an extraordinary waste to have Matthew Wade run out late in the game for a diamond duck - their man of the match from the semi-final didn’t face a ball. That was a major cock-up from Gary Kirsten to send Tim Paine to open the innings.
George Bailey did a good job for a time, replacing him when Paine was quickly out, but was slowed down once the Powerplay ended. D’Arcy Short took half the innings to get going, by which point the chance had slipped. It might seem unreasonable to be critical of 68 from 44 balls, but that was boosted a bit too late in the piece. Had Hobart taken advantage of having 60 on the board after six overs, and got the foot down then, they could have stayed in the game.
But Adelaide didn’t allow it. Siddle’s figures, going at 4.75 an over, we’ve mentioned. Liam O’Connor, going at 6.75 an over in his first game of the season, we’ve discussed as well. With those eight tight overs, the rest was all too much.
And the fact it was too much is due to Weatherald, with his 115 from 70, backed up by Head’s 44 from 29. A fine, fine, effort in powder blue, at the Adelaide Oval in front of their home crowd.
Adelaide Strikers are the Big Bash champions!
A deserved title for an excellent team run by an impressive management. Jason Gillespie has been one of the best coaches in the world the last few years, and he chalks up another success here after being lured home from England by this Strikers outfit. Travis Head is such a highly rated player, and such a young captain, but has led his team to victory despite his relative lack of years.
It’s been a testament to smart recruiting and respecting players as well. Siddle was an underrated and undervalued import. Rashid Khan was a revelation in this competition, just as Adil Rashid was for the Strikers last year. Colin Ingram played some important roles. Ben Laughlin and Michael Neser came down from Queensland. Jono Dean came in from Canberra, Jono Wells from Tassie, Jake Weatherald from Darwin. They’ve put this unit together, despite losing potent players like Tim Ludeman, Brad Hodge, and Ben Dunk. And after threatening in the last couple of years, they’ve finally sealed their first win.
“We did what we felt was the right thing by the squad and by the franchise,” is Gillespie’s summary on the telly. “I’m really proud of the lads.”
20th over: Hobart Hurricanes 177-5 (Christian 29, Milenko 9) Ben Laughlin feeling a lot more chilled out than he was defending 14 against the Renegades a couple of nights ago. Even when Christian belts a huge six over midwicket first ball. Would have to bowl a prodigiously bad over here to lose. Christian goes six, four, two, one, and the law of diminishing returns could also be applied to Hobart’s innings, which started so well and then fizzled out in the end.
The last ball is bowled, Milenko misses it, and the formalities are complete...
19th over: Hobart Hurricanes 164-5 (Christian 16, Milenko 9) First ball of the Neser over goes for four, Milenko squeezing the yorker away through third man. But they’re starting to need more than four a ball. Not forthcoming. They’re getting two runs nearly every ball, but the Strikers are happy to let them have twos, and not risk any overthrows. A dozen from the over, but it’s not nearly enough. They need 39 from the last over. Six sixes and five wides, anyone?
18th over: Hobart Hurricanes 152-5 (Christian 11, Milenko 2) Wade goes from the first ball of the over, then Ben Laughlin keeps the Canes to three singles, until Christian biffs the last ball over cover for four. Milenko can hit some big sixes, but they don’t have enough balls remaining.
WICKET! Wade run out Carey, 0 from 0 balls
It’s my favourite Bowie song. Diamond Ducks. Christian misses a big swing at Laughlin, Wade wants to take the bye to give himself a chance to swing, and Carey nails the stumps. So maybe his trip down here for this game was worth it after all.
WICKET! Short c Carey b Siddle, 68 from 44 balls
17th over: Hobart Hurricanes 145-4 (Christian 6) Peter Siddle. Peter Sizzle. Pierre Sidélle. The Siddler. Peter, the city of Adelaide wants to kiss you on the mouth. He’s unhittable. Dan Christian stuffs it up, trying to wallop everything himself instead of giving the strike to his set partner. Tries yet another ramp and misses. Misses outside off. Connects with one for a boundary. So by the time Short gets on strike there’s one ball left, and he swings desperately, and gets an inside edge to the keeper.
Pete Siddle, Big Bash final, 4 overs, 1 maiden, 3 for 17. Take a bow.
16th over: Hobart Hurricanes 140-3 (Short 68, Christian 1) I have to say, it’s truly bizarre that Matthew Wade won’t get a proper bat in this game. In such good touch in the semi-final, so damaging when he’s on, yet he hasn’t batted at all, presumably because Short is left-handed and the other options are right. Does that matter when you’re the in-form striker in the team?
In any case, Head tries something cheeky, and gives an over to Colin Ingram. Little doorknob spinners. D’Arcy Short smacks him straight for four, then comes down the pitch to smash two sixes over long-on. The over goes for 19, and that helps, a bit, but they still need 63 from the last four overs.
15th over: Hobart Hurricanes 121-3 (Short 51, Christian 0) Well, Siddle has been masterful. McDermott couldn’t land a ramp shot, nor could Short. Short missed a big swing, McDermott missed the flick shot that saw him dismissed. Dan Christian misses the last ball of the over too. So, three leg byes from the over, which makes it a wicket maiden for the bowler. Defending 200, that’s a huge effort.
WICKET! McDermott lbw Siddle, 9 from 13 balls
It hasn’t worked for McDermott today! His Usain Bolt impression has faltered at about the 30-metre mark. The full ball from Siddle nails him on the ankle, and it was probably missing leg stump by about a metre, but that didn’t stop the umpire.
Half century! Short 50 from 36 balls
14th over: Hobart Hurricanes 118-2 (Short 51, McDermott 9) O’Connor’s final over coming up. McDermott aims a full IKEA kitchen at it, but only smears one run to square leg. There Short goes again, a flat six over midwicket. Gets one short enough, and hits a shot remarkably parallel to the ground and into the crowd. Again, deathly silence from the Adelaide faithful. The rest of the over yields singles, one of which raises Short’s milestone, so 11 from the over in total.
13th over: Hobart Hurricanes 107-2 (Short 43, McDermott 6) Laughlin the bowler, as Short and McDermott trade singles to the deep midwicket sweeper. Short baseballs straight, but Lehmann is set quite straight and keeps it to two. And then finally, at last, Short finds his range, driving six runs down the ground and into a security guard. The fairly bemused looking chap made a half-hearted attempt at a catch while kneeling by the long-on fence, and didn’t flinch as the ball hit his chest and bounced away. A couple more singles mean a dozen from the over.
12th over: Hobart Hurricanes 95-2 (Short 34, McDermott 4) O’Connor to Short, and it’s just another single. The spinner doing a top job. McDermott works a single square, Short’s straight hit is saved by the bowler, and his next sweep only nets a run. McDermott drives another through cover, and is sharp enough to get back for the second. But cancels out that gain by missing a big slog from the last. O’Connor has gone for 16 from three overs, and that might already be the difference between the sides.
11th over: Hobart Hurricanes 90-2 (Short 32, McDermott 1) Well, McDermott needs a little time to settle. We’ve seen this with him before, he takes a few balls to get into his innings, but can lope along and eat up lost ground later, in the manner of Usain Bolt. But as he gets his eye in, the anxiety spirals upward with the required rate. So Short will need to alleviate that from the other end. Can’t do it this over, with a couple of singles, and Siddle takes the wicket while conceding only 5 runs. Brilliant from him. Short going at barely a run a ball with more than half the innings gone.
WICKET! Bailey c Lehmann b Siddle, 46 from 33 balls
And at last, the pressure tells! Who better to apply it than a pressure specialist, Peter Siddle, who has spent so much of his career tightening the screws. Everyone wants to target him, few of them quite know how. Jake Lehmann might have been nervous at wide long-on, after dropping a couple against the Renegades the other night, but he makes good ground around the boundary curve as Bailey plays a big on-drive, and takes the catch comfortably out by the rope.
10th over: Hobart Hurricanes 85-1 (Short 30, Bailey 44) Bailey drives the single down the ground, then O’Connor delivers what might have worked to a right-hander, but it sits up on Short’s leg stump and is slapped round the corner for four. Short tries to slam the next straight, and Bailey has to do some fancy-pants man-dancing to kick his heels up out of the way. But the ball is saved down the ground, then Bailey only gets one straight, then Short hits direct to the bowler and then to cover. The over worth 7, and another big win for the Strikers.
9th over: Hobart Hurricanes 78-1 (Short 25, Bailey 42) Single, single, single, single. Short goes hard at a couple from Neser but finds the boundary riders. Bailey pulls one hard but the same. A couple of full tosses that aren’t punished. Bailey swings to short fine leg, and the crowd goes beserk as the stumps are thrown down, but Short is well home on the quick single. Only problem is, singles won’t do it. Six runs from that set. Make or break in O’Connor’s next, surely...
8th over: Hobart Hurricanes 72-1 (Short 23, Bailey 39) Right, big moment as we flagged before. Liam O’Connor, the leggie who hasn’t played all season. Heavy over-the-wrist action, high arm, lots more bounce than spin. He lands his first couple, and they’re both cut by Bailey straight to point! Two dots, then a single, great start as Bailey can only drive to long-off. Short only nurdles a run off the pads. Bailey tries to cut hard, and gets a bottom edge past his stumps! Could so easily have been bowled as that delivery rushed on. They get a lucky single, then Short just ticks one more to midwicket. The spinner that Hobart really has to target, and they’ve taken four singles from his first over. The run rate has crashed to 9, and the required rate is skipping towards 11.
7th over: Hobart Hurricanes 68-1 (Short 21, Bailey 37) I was wrong, Head is back with the ball. Bailey is working him cleverly now that field is back, taking a couple of twos to midwicket. Along with some singles, they get 8 from the over. Short yet to explode, but Hobart can’t afford him to go for a big shot that’s not there.
6th over: Hobart Hurricanes 60-1 (Short 20, Bailey 31) Enter Petter Siddle. Fine competitor, super accurate, hard to get away. Belies that first up with a wide to the left-hander, but keeps Short to a single, Bailey scoreless, from his first two legitimate balls. Bailey produces a lovely lofted off-drive with the field up, and gains four runs, but a single and a leg bye are all the profit from the next three balls. Eight from the over, give that one to the Strikers. Powerplay ends at 10 runs per over.
5th over: Hobart Hurricanes 52-1 (Short 19, Bailey 26) Ben Laughlin now, who was the (somewhat accidental) hero at the end of the Strikers’ semi-final. He bowled the last ball of the match, when the Renegades needed two to tie, but Kieron Pollard couldn’t make contact and only ran a bye. Laughlin starts well here, having Short drive straight to mid-off twice in a row, but then it starts to slip. A wide. Another near wide that Short can jam away square of the short fine leg to the boundary. A slot ball for Short to pound down the ground in the air for four more. An aerial leading edge over midwicket that lands safe for a run, then Bailey poaches two more runs by finding the square leg vacancy. Good batting, a dozen from the over, and a quarter of the way through the innings, Hobart remain ahead of the required rate. Maintaining it is the hard part.
4th over: Hobart Hurricanes 40-1 (Short 10, Bailey 24) Neser good, Neser good, he’s Michael Neser good. Bailey glances Neser for a single, then Short pulls him for four. That was a high full toss, and should have been a no-ball to my eyes, but the umpire at square leg reckons it dipped late. Not much... but the bowler takes advantage of his reprieve, and ties down Short and then Bailey to keep the over to six runs. Hobart at 10 an over so far...
3rd over: Hobart Hurricanes 34-1 (Short 5, Bailey 23) Head bowls a wide down leg – Hobart will take as many of those as they can get. Then Bailey skips down the wicket and launches a gorgeous strike over wide long-on for six. Pure timing, no hint of slog about that. Just trampolined it about 30 rows into the crowd. And as they’re noting on the radio, these Hobart shots are being met with absolute silence. No one is applauding the fours and sixes, as they might ina Test match. This is partisan, footy-style, club-based cricket, and the old niceties are going the way of the woolly mammoth. Bailey takes advantage of a misfield to zip back for a couple of runs, then advances again to hit a straighter six over the bowler’s head. The bowler’s Head, and it might be the last time the bowler’s Head for this match. Of course, the bowler is the captain, meaning he’s the head, so it depends what’s in Head the head’s head. Hobart are ahead, incidentally, of the run rate. They’re going at better than 11 an over.
2nd over: Hobart Hurricanes 18-1 (Short 5, Bailey 8) Whether Wade should have come out at the fall of the first wicket is also up for debate. But Bailey produces a crisp straight drive in response to Michael Neser’s first ball and takes four runs. Whips another couple off his pads, then a single. D’Arcy Short produces a glorious shot for four! A classic cover drive off the back foot, up on this toes and punching through the field, splitting a couple of blue uniforms. They’re close enough to that 10 an over requirement, at least at this early stage.
WICKET! Paine c Carey b Head, 5 from 4 balls
1st over: Hobart Hurricanes 7-1 (Short 1, Bailey 1) Ok, so what’s going on here? Wade was man of the match in the semifinal with a fast 71, but he’s not opening here. Tim Paine didn’t do a whole lot in that game, but is opening. D’Arcy Short is opening with him. Maybe they see Wade as a better natural striker, and want to hold him back for a late assault? But surely chasing such a big target you want as many in the Powerplay as possible? Unless they want a right-hander / left-hander combination, as Wade is a lefty and so is Short. But two lefties worked out alright for Adelaide just now.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter, because Paine is out. Second-last ball of the over. Travis Head opened the bowling with his off-breaks, Paine hauled one over midwicket for four, then tried it again and got a little top edge through to Alex Carey. “Sticky mitts,” says Callum Ferguson on the radio about his South Australia teammate. George Bailey will bat at first drop.
Hobart Hurricanes must chase 203 to win
First up, they can do it. They made 210 at Perth Stadium to smash the Scorchers in their semi-final on Thursday, and that was a good batting trick. This is probably a better one, after it had time to dry out after some lively action early in the WBBL final earlier. It was looking a lovely batting surface for the Sydney Sixers by the second innings of that match, and it’s even better now. Easy to time shots on both sides of the wicket.
So if D’Arcy Short fires, and Matthew Wade can reprise his work from last outing, Hobart are a chance. But if Adelaide can bowl more effectively than their opponents did, it will be a very tall order. Rashid Khan and Billy Stanlake missing for the Strikers, as we said. Not to mention this:
Adelaide still with the best chance from here, but if Hobart can stay in the contest, it will be one for the ages.
We’ll have the run chase in just a minute.
20th over: Adelaide Strikers 202-2 (Head 44, Ingram 14) Archer to close things out. Starts well with a fast yorker, then is well backed up by his field for the next couple of balls. Three singles, but Ingram is innovative. Deep in his crease, pulls out a hockey slap to a full ball over square leg, and it sails away for six! Enya was singing the theme song for that one. Lovely soaring shape to the trajectory. Archer switches to a short ball, but Ingram gets enough on an inelegant pull shot for four. And the last ball? Should have been a dot, as Ingram was beaten, but Head was quick enough to get through for a bye. The keeper’s throw missed the stumps, and for the second time today, a Hurricane bowler picked up a ball and threw it at the nonstriker’s end needlessly, so the batsmen run one more on the ricochet.
The 200 is up, with 15 from the final over.
19th over: Adelaide Strikers 187-2 (Head 42, Ingram 3) Hobart have to at least keep this to 200. Or believe it’s possible. It’s a good start for Christian as Head misses his slog and there’s only a leg bye, but it’s a better next ball for Christian as the Weatherald wicket falls. New Zealand international Colin Ingram at the crease now. A couple of singles, a wide, a two... the Hurricanes would definitely be happy with 7 from that over.
This is true, it is pretty confusing with the Premier of South Australia versus the premier batsman in South Australia at the moment.
WICKET! Weatherald c Bailey b Christian, 115 from 70 balls
The Strikers are 181 for 2, as at last Jake Weatherald falls. He was flagging a bit in the mid-30s heat, and tried to land one more big blow over cover. Didn’t time the shot, which went very high into the Adelaide summer sky, but George Bailey was settled underneath it at cover. A fine, potentially career-defining innings comes to an end.
18th over: Adelaide Strikers 180-1 (Weatherald 115, Head 40) Uh-oh. Archer is back, and still struggling. Sends down a no-ball, too high as it reached the batsman, and though Head skews the top edge high to the keeper, it’s not out. They get two for that, then Archer nails the yorker on the free hit, and keeps it to a single. So Weatherald decides to use the bowler’s pace, having become too exhausted to club any more sixes himself, and plays the lap shot while down on one knee through fine leg for four. Great timing. Not so much the next attempt, which is all top edge as Weatherald comes awkwardly across the line, but it’s enough to get another boundary in the book, that shot going over Tim Paine behind the stumps. Strikers going at 10 an over, that one went for 14, and Weatherald is a chance for the highest BBL score if he bats through.
17th over: Adelaide Strikers 166-1 (Weatherald 106, Head 36) Weatherald has definitely slowed down since he hit about 80. Gets a single and a two, misses a big swing, nails cover as well with a hard shot, and with Head adding the same scoring pattern, Christian keeps the scoring to six from the over.
CENTURY! Weatherald 101 from 58 balls
16th over: Adelaide Strikers 160-1 (Weatherald 103, Head 33) What a performance from this man. He got to complete the most spectacular catch of the season a few days ago, with a lot of help from teammate Ben Laughlin, but he completes one of the most spectacular innings all on his own. Slashes four runs from Rogers on the cut shot, then again uses the gaps he’s opened up, turning two runs into the on-side while on 99. He celebrates for his home crowd, arms wide to the baying and the applause. No one has made a ton in a BBL final before, but they have now.
15th over: Adelaide Strikers 151-1 (Weatherald 95, Head 32) “That’s the spot for the left-hander against the left-arm spinner,” booms Jim Maxwell on ABC radio. “Like Nicky Boje bowling to Adam Gilchrist at Johannesburg. Every time he tossed it up.”
The bowler is Clive Rose. The left-hander is Travis Head. The shot is Head dropping to one knee and positively launching the slog-sweep moonward. Two balls later, Rose bowls a full toss to Weatherald that gets the same treatment. The over goes for 15.
14th over: Adelaide Strikers 136-1 (Weatherald 87, Head 25) In a game like T20 cricket, where everything is hyper-condensed, this is an important little passage of play. Tom Rogers bowling briskly, and Weatherald blocks one, then misses a massive drive outside off, then hits cover. Three dot balls in a row is a victory the way he’s gone today. He dinks the fourth ball into a gap at midwicket and sprints two, with everyone back, then drives a single to long-on. Again Head has one ball to face... and again he makes a good Hurricane over into a middling one, by pulling the last ball for four! They’re doing this beautifully, Adelaide.
13th over: Adelaide Strikers 129-1 (Weatherald 84, Head 21) Going at 10 an over, the Strikers are happy to take a breather here. Interesting tactics: tire them out with too many boundaries? Weatherald only drives Christian for a couple of singles, and even faces a dot ball. But Head tells him to take it easy, and clubs the last ball of the over down the ground for four.
12th over: Adelaide Strikers 120-1 (Weatherald 82, Head 14) The Canes are rattled, tell you what. Meredith has been decent, but now gives up width and Weatherald flays the square drive for six, the ball hitting the boundary cushions behind point on the full. Fuller but wide still, and it’s drive for four. Straighter, but too straight, and glanced for four more. Looking for the wide yorker and the umpire deems it illegal. Weatherald keeps the strike from the last. He’s putting on a show.
11th over: Adelaide Strikers 104-1 (Weatherald 67, Head 14) Well, that big moment can now split billing with this big moment, as Travis Head is dropped again. Clive Rose the bowler, tidy singles, then a slog very high to the deep where Short is at deep midwicket. He’s looking into the sun, runs in too far, then has to launch backwards to try and reel in the ball. Fingertips it, and stops it getting past him to threaten the boundary, but only after it’s gone to ground. The batsmen run two, then add another brace. Eight from the over.
10th over: Adelaide Strikers 96-1 (Weatherald 65, Head 8) Rogers, with the big responsibility of fixing the brakes on this runaway train. He does well by forcing Weatherland to defend, then keeps him to a single. Head drives a couple, then misses and finds the field. And from the last ball, the slowed rate should tell, as Head bangs a drive straight back at Rogers, but he drops the hard return catch. Grabs the rebound, spins around, and throws at the non-striker’s stumps, hoping to catch Weatherald out of his ground. Caught up in the moment, perhaps? Jofra Archer certainly is, at mid-off. He’s standing with his hands on his head ruing the drop, and so doesn’t move quickly enough in backing up. The ball gets past him, and Archer chases back to save the boundary, by which time they’ve run three. So a wicket becomes three runs. Big moment.
Half century! Weatherald 55 from 29 balls
9th over: Adelaide Strikers 90-1 (Weatherald 64, Head 3) Short, short, and long! D’Arcy short, like Christian, barely errs in length, but Weatherald is right back in his crease, almost kicking the stumps, and again gets under the ball on his pull shot to lift it over the square leg fence. Weatherald made 56 and 57 in his last two outings, and he’s 55 here. Not for long. Nicks a couple more runs, then slams six more over cover! That was full and outside off, so he showed he can play both sides of the crease with his power game. Coming good at the right end of the season. Rattles Short enough to draw a wide, then takes a single from the last ball. An over worth 16 to follow 17, and Travis Head has flown here today to be a spectator.
8th over: Adelaide Strikers 74-1 (Weatherald 49, Head 3) The changes continue, with Dan Christian to bowl his medium pacers. Barely short, that first ball, but it’s pulled for six! Jake Weatherald played one of those shots that is arcing up at the ball as the bat strikes around waist high, rather than pulling down on the ball from shoulder height, and with the short boundaries square of the wicket at Adelaide Oval, those sort of strokes sail into the brick concourse underneath the Chappell Stand more often than not. Christian goes a bit wide of the stumps and JW cuts that for four. Again, barely short enough for the shot, but perfect timing from the batsman made it work. And the third ball? A carbon copy of the first. Barely short enough to pull, but it’s pulled for six more! Only gets a single from the last three balls, but the damage is done. 17 from the over.
7th over: Adelaide Strikers 57-1 (Weatherald 32, Head 3) Here’s D’Arcy Short, plying the less celebrated side of his trade: left-arm wrist spin. He can be very hard to hit, especially when you’re unsure. Head and Weatherald are, and Short draws a few tentative prods, a couple of hits to the field, and goes for only four singles.
6th over: Adelaide Strikers 53-1 (Weatherald 30, Head 1) Oh, Meredith. Just as Archer can bowl five poor balls and redeem it, you can bowl most of a good over and then be punished. Four balls, one run and one leg bye. Going well. But Weatherald slams a square drive for four, then pulls a flat hard six. Simon Milenko on the rope had hopes of catching that, or at least tipping it back in, but didn’t put all the pieces together. Adelaide’s captain at the crease.
WICKET! Carey b Archer 18 from 16
5th over: Adelaide Strikers 41-1 (Weatherald 20) Archer back in the attack, and he’s taking some tap to begin with. Weatherald produces an absurd scything slap shot to flay a length ball over third man for six, swinging hard outside off. Then it’s Carey’s turn to innovate, getting a short ball that he uppercuts, very close to his body, just offering the upturned face of the bat and sending the ball over the keeper’s head for four. But just as Archer is about to complete a poor over, he bowls a slower short ball that Carey mis-hits as he tries to nudge it behind point, gets in a tangle, and the ricochet rolls onto his stumps. Worth the flight back form Sydney for 18 runs? He’ll have some keeping to do later, too.
4th over: Adelaide Strikers 30-0 (Carey 14, Weatherald 13) Riley Meredith now, the Hurricanes keeping the changing rolling. He wasn’t the best against the Scorchers in the semi, 1 for 29 from three overs, but has held his spot. Slapped for four first ball, wide of off against Carey but worked through square leg. But comes back well. He’s right arm over the wicket, and cramps the batsmen for room, landing a couple of yorkers, and only concedes two more off the bat, plus a wide.
3rd over: Adelaide Strikers 23-0 (Carey 9, Weatherald 12) Tom Rogers comes on to bowl, and draws a false stroke immediately, JW’s pull shot landing safely in a gap at backward square leg. Carey nurdles one off his hip, Weatherald is struck in the space directly between his hips. Pelvis Presley. Takes a moment to compose himself, as Jim Maxwell and Lisa Sthalekar on ABC radio discuss whether it’s any more or less painful to be hit in that region for women cricketers. We’re always learning. Weatherald responds by proving that he can still slash, for four through point. Then it’s Carey’s turn to be nearly caught, splicing a ball high towards mid-on but it drops short.
2nd over: Adelaide Strikers 15-0 (Carey 7, Weatherald 6) Jofra Archer starting from the other end. He’s been so exciting this season, and it directly earned him a wheelbarrow full of IPL cash in the auction recently. But he doesn’t start well here. Very leg stump line, so he’s picked off for a glanced four, then sends a couple of wides past leg. Damien Fleming is losing his mind about Archer bowling around the wicket to the lefties, because the ball is swinging into them. Fleming wants him to attack the stumps from over the wicket and swing in a leg-before-wicket ball. But to no avail. Weatherald edges a single to third man, Carey is beaten by a good ball that straightens. That’s enough to make Carey pat the last ball respectfully to cover.
1st over: Adelaide Strikers 7-0 (Carey 2, Weatherald 5) The TV broadcast has now got to the point of interviewing the opening batsmen as they walk out, with a reporter jogging alongside with a microphone. Not distracting at all, that’s cool. Weatherald handles the questions, Carey faces the first ball. He’s played down the order a lot this season, but made a century opening the batting a few games ago. Hobart finger-spinner Clive Rose opens the bowling, forcing the Strikers to generate their own pace. They don’t do too much aside from work some singles, then Weatherald pulls the last ball of the over for four. Two left-handers opening the batting.
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George Bailey *
Tim Paine +
Alex Carey +
Travis Head *
Adelaide Strikers win the toss and will bat
We’re currently enjoying a Big Bash retrospective montage, with some excruciating teenage actors who absolutely, definitely, without a doubt, all love cricket and definitely watched lots of this league over the summer. “My sister loves Gilly. He’s funny.” Yeah, alright mate.
But soon we’ll enjoy the Strikers coming out to bat on their home turf. They’ve done this most of the season, and have a good record defending totals. Coach (and Guardian columnist, by the by) Jason Gillespie says they’re confident in doing this again. Of course, they’ll have to do it without Rashid Khan, the Afghan leg-spinner who has been supernaturally hard to score from with the ball, and without Billy Stanlake, the eight-foot-two giraffe who can swing the ball either way at 150 kilometres per hour. Both are absent for national duties.
But Adelaide do have Travis Head and Alex Carey back from the Australian T20 squad, which will greatly aid their strike power. And Hobart has D’Arcy Short back as well, to open the innings for them in their run chase.
For Hobart, they’ll keep much the same line-up as won their semi-final, with the inexperienced seamers Tom Rogers and Riley Meredith staying in the bowling attack. Nathan Reardon is the one unlucky semi-finalist Hurricane to miss out so that Short can come back.
Thanks Kate! Enjoy a well earned sandwich. A fair bit of blather to get through in the lead-up to the men’s final, incongruously jammed in the middle of the afternoon rather than the evening affairs to which we’ve become accustomed. But we’ve got the Hurricanes and Strikers players warming up, and it looks plenty warm out there in the nets in bright sunshine.
Geoff will be here shortly for the BBL final.
WBBL final wrap-up; Sydney Sixers win!
The team are celebrating on stage with the cup, which is lit up in neon pink. Amazing stuff by Sarah Coyte to take out player of the match. For those who don’t know, she retired because of an eating disorder that she’s battled with her whole career. Had the 12 months off, looks incredibly happy to be back, and happy in general which is probably the best story of the final. Astute pick-up for the Sixers to coax her out of retirement.
For the Scorchers, it’s another disappointing stumble at the final hurdle. Of course they gain Meg Lanning next season, which is the best possible pick-up, but as Lisa Sthalekar points out, they need to find more batting depth. They will also hope Brunt can do more with the bat next season, as she has in the past.
Thankyou for joining me for this WBBL final. The WBBL03 has been a wonderful advertisement for women’s cricket, and has taken the game forward in leaps and bounds again. Great to see some real stars emerge, and records fall both on and off field, with ever-increasing interest and viewing numbers.
Do stick around for the BBL blog which will follow here with Geoff Lemon, but I’ll take a break in the meantime.
Villani says she’s incredibly proud of the season, and they “chose a bad day to have a bad day of cricket”. Admits the toss wasn’t a great one to win: “they bowled well and it was extremely difficult to score”. Difficult loss for Perth, the second year in a row they’ve been second-best on the biggest stage of all.
Now we hear from Ellyse Perry. Asked what it means personally to be captain and playing this year, she says “I’m really proud. It was outstanding from us, one of the best games of cricket we’ve played all season. We had massive contributions across the squad and being in the team today was really nice. It’s really nice to be standing here.”
Also pays credit to the players not present today, “not to mention the support staff, they put just as much effort and time in and are just as involved. We’ve got a wonderful group of girls who have contributed all season. We really enjoy WBBL, it’s probably the highlight of the summer and to win again is the cherry on top.”
Says the Sixers have formed a wonderful rivalry with Perth and despite today’s performance, they’re an “incredible group of players, whenever we play them we know it’s a huge challenge, you want to play the best teams and it was nice to be victorious but I’d like to congratulate Elise and her team for a great season.”
Player of the match
This is a tough one to pick. It goes to Sarah Coyte for three wickets for 16! What a story, a year out of the game after retiring and with so little preparation, but she’s been such an important cog in the Sixers’ finals series. What a wonderful recruitment, one Perry called a “masterstroke” and that it has proved! Glad to see it go to a bowler, because it was really their bowling performance that won the game.
Sydney Sixers win by nine wickets
Well done Sixers, that was a demolition. They manage back-to-back titles, this time with captain Perry hitting the winning runs after she missed last year’s win, apparently desolate in the changerooms. Fitting that the best team of the season has won the competition. A real team effort, and as well as Healy and Perry batted (with a nice cameo by Gardner), it was the bowlers who really put the pressure on after they were sent in to bowl after losing the toss.
On camera Healy says it was “one of the best tosses we’ve lost all year.” “To go out there and get the job done,” she says, “we’re really pleased.” Was it more special this year? “Not really,” she says. “WBBL01, 02, we worked really hard to make the finals, this year we had it more cruisey. We’re a great group, we come from everywhere and played some wonderful cricket [together].”
Claims she was happy for Gardner and Perry to get the runs in the end, even though she is undoubtedly disappointed she gave away her own wicket.
14th over: Sydney Sixers 100-1 (Gardner 22, Perry 36)
Just spotted Zoe Goss in the crowd, there’s a champion of women’s cricket folklore for you! Anyone remember when she dismissed Brian Lara? Must say it was incredibly inspiring for me as a young aspiring women’s cricketer!
Gardner down the ground with a huge hit in the air, it just misses the rope and goes for four! Perry, not to be outdone, cracks one down the ground, this time mostly along the ground. She’ll want to be out there for the win, and probably hit hte winning runs. One off the over left. Is it four? YES! It’s OVER!
13th over: Sydney Sixers 85-1 (Gardner 16, Perry 27)
Graham again from over the wicket, but she strays too far onto the pads, and Ash Gardner punishes her with a flick off the pads for four. Just 18 required for victory now, and Gardner finds a single through cover. Plenty of discussion from the Scorchers as to what to do with the field, but I don’t think it matters much at this point. Might be worth bringing someone in closer to push for the wicket, at least.
13th over: Sydney Sixers 78-1 (Gardner 10, Perry 26)
King again after an excellent last over, but the run rate required is still just over 3. Ooh! She almost catches Gardner LBW trying to sweep her across her stumps, but it’s not given out. Tidy over again from King.
12th over: Sydney Sixers 76-1 (Gardner 9, Perry 25)
Brunt comes back into the attack - and not too soon. They need Gardner’s wicket - who has been a regular concussion-victim against Brunt’s pace. Expecting the short ball, she gets an almost-yorker first up (which is too far to the off-side) and doesn’t pick it. The next ball is short, but with enough space to leave. Brunt follows it up with a slow ball, but it’s wide on the leg side, and called a wide officially. The next is short again, predictably, but Gardner rocks back and picks it with the pull shot for one. Brunt muttering something to herself. Wouldn’t like to face her, personally.
Running mix-up! Perry is almost out - but the throw isn’t a direct hit. Brunt doesn’t have enough time to get behind the stumps and Graham just misses out on the wicket. The next one is short again at Gardner’s body and she whacks it over mid-wicket for six. Great stuff from her, refusing to be intimidated and pulling Brunt for her 21st six.
11th over: Sydney Sixers 67-1 (Gardner 2, Perry 24)
King finally gets the breakthrough, with the most dangerous batter gone. Can they find the wicket of Gardner to keep the momentum up? She’s hit 20 sixes for the competition, 10 of which came in her first innings. Incredibly dangerous when she’s on song, as she was in the semi-final. Ooh! Perry looked gone in a very similar fashion to Healy, foot out of the crease for a fair chunk of time, but she’s safe - just! Great over by King.
WICKET! Healy stumped Smith 41 b King (32 balls)
So much for Healy lasting the innings. She looks to attack, comes down the crease, and the drift beats her. Well done by King. But now we’ve got Ash Gardner in for the Sixers, sorry Scorchers...
Don’t mind this suggestion from Craig. The crowd today has been very disappointing - can’t imagine North Sydney Oval would’ve had such a poor turnout.
10th over: Sydney Sixers 63-0 (Healy 41, Perry 23)
Ellyse Perry, not content with watching Healy take on the Scorchers, she finds a four through wid-wicket, getting onto the short ball early. Perry overtakes the record (of Mooney) for the highest runs scored for the WBBL competition’s history. Has benefitted from no Lanning this season, points out Jones. I’m backing Healy and Perry in to reach this total without the loss of a wicket. Required run rate just 3.60 per over now.
9th over: Sydney Sixers 54-0 (Healy 37, Perry 17)
This time Emma King comes into the attack, I like that, reckon you want Healy to generate her own pace at this point, although her footwork against Bolton was seriously impressive.
RP Reynolds mate, you can calm down now. Went a bit early. Meanwhile, Perry gets in on the action with another lofted cover drive for four. Yet another50-run partnership for Perry and Healy.
8th over: Sydney Sixers 48-0 (Healy 36, Perry 12)
Graham to roll her arm over again - probably the pick of the Perth bowlers so far. She restricts the Sixers to just two.
Here’s a Healy boundary to get you in the mood:
7th over: Sydney Sixers 46-0 (Healy 35, Perry 11)
This time Cleary comes into the attack after her decent effort with the bat. Ebsary, on field, says the Scorchers will look to put the pressure on with more dots. Not sure they’ve had enough dots so far, to be honest. First missed shot by Healy, who swings heavily at a short one on the off-side. This time she middles it for six. Wow. That’s the first six of the day, over cover. She doesn’t move. Beautiful timing, everything’s coming out of the middle now for the wicket-keeper.
6th over: Sydney Sixers 39-0 (Healy 29, Perry 10)
Graham in again, bowling a tidy line. Healy on the mic says she enjoyed the boundaries off Bolton, “can’t let her think she’s an all-rounder for too long”. Also makes mention of the wicket of Villani, where she was up in her face after the dismissal. Maher mentions the Wade wicket as a possible comparison, but it didn’t look anything like it for mine, Wade sought out the batsman from a long way off, Healy cheered and clapped at Villani, which, while Villani wouldn’t like it, is fair sport I’d say. Power play over.
5th over: Sydney Sixers 36-0 (Healy 28, Perry 8)
Bolton back on, around the wicket this time, but Healy still manages a boundary through long-off with some nice footwork. That brings up 400 runs for her in WBBL03. This time she goes through the air over cover, and it’s another four. She’s a brilliant cricketer, Healy, and she’s one of the key reasons they’ve out-classed the Scorchers so far. Healy goes down the ground this time, in the air for ANOTHER four! Disappointing over for Bolton, who goes for 12. It’s all unravelling. Healy on 28 off 17 balls so far, with five fours...
4th over: Sydney Sixers 24-0 (Healy 16, Perry 8)
Bolton out of the attack after she went for eight off the last over, but Healy hits another boundary off Graham with a lovely cover drive into the gap. Perth out-classed today. Slower ball from Graham but Healy still finds the single to tick over the strike and run rate. Five runs off the over.
3rd over: Sydney Sixers 19-0 (Healy 11, Perry 8)
Perry standing just outside the crease, looking to take the game on early. Brunt bowling a tight line, though. This one’s short and at the body, but Perry manages two with the pull shot. This one’s edged, but there’s no slip, and it goes for four. Nothing going right for Perth.
2nd over: Sydney Sixers 13-0 (Healy 11, Perry 2)
Bolton into the attack now, have liked her efforts with the ball this season. Picked up Healy for a golden duck last time these sides played, and needs a similar miracle this time. Oh no - a very bad misfield from the Scorchers lets Perry off the hook as Cleary lets one go between her legs. Should have been another dot. Healy then smacks a cover drive for four. She means business today, bad signs for the Scorchers.
1st over: Sydney Sixers 5-0 (Healy 4, Perry 1)
Brunt to bowl the first over, and Healy manages three off the first ball with some excellent running with captain Perry. Brunt strays too close to the stumps and Healy finds the gap through mid-wicket with a flick off the pads. The next ball is straight, again, but this time patted back. Brunt again on the pads, and Perry manages an easy single. I gather she’s going for the LBW, and they do need early wickets. Five from the first over in a nice start to the chase.
Perth scorchers all out for 99
Miserable innings for Perth, Piepa Cleary top-scores with 18, little to speak off otherwise except for Graham’s 14 and Villani’s 16. Not enough from their established batters in Villani, Bolton and Sciver.
Brilliant bowling from the Sixers, highlighted by Coyte with 17-3 and Burns with 2-26. Perry with 9-1 was impressive even if she just bowled the two overs, and Aley was incredibly important early keeping the run rate down during the power play.
WICKET! Smith run out Burns 0 (0 balls)
Perth Scorchers all out for 99! Well done to the Sixers, outstanding bowling performance, but well done to lower-order Cleary too who impressed with the bat where her batting teammates failed. Still, 99 is a psychological blow for the Scorchers who looked set to take find an unlikely century to defend. Sixers hot favourites from here. I’ll take a quick break and be back for the next innings.
WICKET! Cleary run out Burns 2 (2 balls)
19.4 overs: Perth Scorchers 96-9 (King 2, Cleary 13)
Burns to bowl the last, she’s taken the two wickets for 17 runs so far. First ball is a single - she does well to get the super batter on strike in Cleary. This one’s in the air, but they manage one with some good fielding from Gardner. Is King run out going for two? Yes!
WICKET! Brunt c Gardner b Aley 10 (13 balls)
19th over: Perth Scorchers 90-8 (Brunt 10, Cleary 11)
Aley again, who has conceded just eight runs off three overs, even if she hasn’t picked up a wicket. Healy and Perry consult re: the field, and Cleary manages a four. Rare blemish for Burns who mis-judged the lofted ball on the mid-on boundary, and lets it go for four. A wide follows. Few extra runs will come in handy for the Scorchers, but I doubt this is a total they can defend. Great fight shown by Cleary, not a natural with the bat but she’s given it everything.
Eleven runs from Aley’s over. By far the best for the Scorchers. - But WICKET ends the over!
18th over: Perth Scorchers 79-7 (Brunt 9, Cleary 2)
Ooh, Brunt nearly goes out as Ebsary did, almost edging Gardner to the keeper. Not sure what that shot was from Brunt, a reverse sweep over the keeper? She manages one, safely. Cleary nearly chops on, and it’s carnage everywhere for Perth. Brunt at least is using her feet and managing a few singles down the ground.
17th over: Perth Scorchers 74-7 (Brunt 5, Cleary 1)
Coyte again with figures of three wickets for 15 to date. Really disappointing innings for Perth, especially considering they won the toss and there’s nothing too special in this pitch. Still, all credit must go to the Sixers who have bowled brilliantly after a few nerves in the first over with those misfields. Have been brilliant since.
16th over: Perth Scorchers 70-7 (Brunt 2, Ebsary 4)
Burns bowling at two wickets for 13. That wasn’t great shot from Graham, who loses her wicket after looking the batter of the Scorchers innings - and possible saviour. Burns goes the sweep - brave, as she would have been plumb.
Still just 4.40 run rate. Ebsary comes to the party with a four - the first in ten overs. Nice pull shot through mid-wicket, kept it down but managed it with some lovely footwork. Wicket ends the over!
WICKET! Ebsary c Healy b Burns 4 (4 balls)
Oh no! Ebsary had just hit a four, but she’s out the following ball, off the glove as she’s tricked by the bounce.
WICKET Graham b Coyte 14 (16 balls)
15th over: Perth Scorchers 66-6 (Brunt 2, Graham 14)
Graham looks to be the only chance for the Scorchers. Wonderful bowling from Coyte to manage two wickets for just the 13 runs (although I’ve jinxed her as she bowls a leg-side wide). Brunt takes on the fielder at long on, and she makes it, but would’ve been out with a direct hit.
Wicket finishes the over! Graham out and that’s THREE for Coyte.
WICKET! Newton LBW Coyte 12 (17 balls)
Thanks to a late ad on Ten, we miss Newton’s wicket, LBW. Replay shows the ball pitched outside the line, but Newton walked across her stumps.
14th over: Perth Scorchers 61-4 (Graham 14, Newton 12)
Gardner is back, Graham advances down the wicket, doesn’t time it properly, but is able to push the single. As Mel Jones points out, it would’ve been good to see Graham bat higher up the order with Sciver after their partnership in the semis. Gardner tosses the ball up and twice Newton mis-times it. Graham, however, manages a clever nick down to third-(wo)man.
13th over: Perth Scorchers 55-4 (Graham 11, Newton 9)
Graham goes over the bowler’s head for two, good running between this pair. Coyte the bowler, who concedes five off the over.
12th over: Perth Scorchers 50-4 (Graham 6, Newton 9)
Run rate finally ticking over a bit for the Scorchers. Graham looking the goods, footwork is lively, and Newton looks more settled as a result.
11th over: Perth Scorchers 45-4 (Graham 3, Newton 7)
Healy on the mic again sledging Graham, predicting she’ll go for one down the wicket and “get bowled”. Apologises after. Aley is back on now in a sign of just how tough this Sixers bowling line-up is to get past. Brunt is next in line for the Scorchers, averaging just 15 for the season, but we know she has the talent, so may be the one to step up.
10th over: Perth Scorchers 42-4 (Graham 1, Newton 6)
Burns the off-spinner into the attack, great acquisition for the Sixers after her time in Hobart. Newton skies a back-foot drive, but it’s just short of cover. Full toss follows which is called a no-ball, but the Scorchers still manage just the single. Free hit for Banting, and Perry changes the field accordingly. Clever bowling from Burns to take the pace off the ball, but Newton manages two with some excellent running between wickets before she falls.
They’ve lost four wickets for 19 at just a 4.20 run rate.
WICKET! Banting c Smith b Burns 5 (9 balls)
Ouch, that hurts for the Scorchers, the pull shot goes to mid-wicket and Smith takes the diving catch.
9th over: Perth Scorchers 35-3 (Newton 4, Banting 2)
Perry back into the attack - don’t mind that. Reckon she under-bowls herself as captain. Bit of a surprise to bring Newton and Banting up the order in the final, particularly under this kind of pressure. Perhaps backing them in to advance the run-rate, and less scared of losing their wickets. Perhaps?
Wow, Banting came incredibly close to chopping that ball back onto her stumps, Gardner just stops it racing to the boundary. Both batters looking for runs, but not necessarily picking the right balls.
Small blemish for Perry with a wide, which on the replay looked fine! Six off the over, but another critical wicket gone.
WICKET! Sciver c Healy b Perry 2 (4 balls)
Perry gets some outside swing and the nick from Sciver, that’s three wickets for six runs that have fallen now for the Scorchers. Great stuff from Perry - reckon she could’ve kept herself in the attack, or come back earlier, but things are working out well for her so far.
8th over: Perth Scorchers 29-2 (Sciver 2, Banting 1)
Banting with a big job here, she enters under huge pressure. A small blemish for Garth who bowls a wide on the fifth. Otherwise a brilliant over to remove Bolton - Scorchers in trouble from here for mine.
WICKET! Bolton LBW Garth 5 (13 balls)
BIG wicket for Garth, removing the left-handed opener. Live, it looked to pitch outside leg, will wait for a replay on that one before commenting further! Nope, it has pitched just in line. Beautiful shorter ball that deceived Bolton with bounce.
7th over: Perth Scorchers 26-1 (Sciver 1, Bolton 5)
Lowest power play for the year for the Scorchers - that spells trouble. No wicket lost but a very low run-rate so far at 3.67.
Coyte into the attack - she’s averaged a wicket every 10.2 deliveries since returning to domestic cricket. Incredible. Has only been in training for a couple of months after having the year off - but reportedly much happier and thrilled to be back playing cricket. Huge effort to take the wicket of Villani. Lots of chatter in the commentary box about Healy’s celebration - she got in the fact of Villani with a big cheer after the stumping. Jones says we aren’t used to seeing that kind of aggression in the women’s game. I liked it, she’s a competitor.
WICKET! Villani stumped Healy, b Coyte 16 (29 balls)
Villani advances down the wicket for the big drive, but is bamboozled, and ends up just poking at it. Sixth stumping for Healy this WBBL03. Huge wicket for the Sixers.
6th over: Perth Scorchers 22-0 (Villani 16, Bolton 3)
Perry now brings Garth into the attack, not afraid to ring the changes. The Sixers are clearly bowling full to Villani because of her dominance square of the wicket. On field, Healy says the toss was “probably a good one to lose” as the ground is tacky underfoot but “will probably dry out nicely for the men’s game”. Can’t say I like the look of having the women’s final in Adelaide when it’s between Sydney and Perth - reckon you’d back in the home crowds to come out to support their sides more than banking on the crowds for the men to come early.
Finally another four for Villani, and surprise surprise it’s short for a cut-shot four. That one’s right out of the middle. Power play ends - Sixers in the box seat at the moment, I’d say.
5th over: Perth Scorchers 17-0 (Villani 12, Bolton 3)
Another over for Aley who is really controlling the run rate for the Sixers during this power play. Quick single taken by Bolton - well played to tick over the strike. Excellent, full bowling follows - right at the stumps, difficult to do much with there. Brilliant economical bowling by Aley with just the one off the over.
4th over: Perth Scorchers 16-0 (Villani 12, Bolton 2)
Gardner comes around the wicket and there’s an appeal for LBW against Bolton, but the ball is missing leg. Bolton goes into the air with a lofted drive on the third delivery, for just the single – has failed to hit the middle yet, and will be looking to hurry along the run-rate which is currently at 3.27. Villani reminds Bolton to be patient and pick the loose ball.
Villani finds the rope with a second boundary on the final delivery - that will relieve some pressure.
Looks as if Sciver will come in at 3, with a strike rate of 120.3. Not a bad promotion, I’d say.
3rd over: Perth Scorchers 11-0 (Villani 8, Bolton 1)
Aley into the attack - she took four wickets for one run in the power play in the semi! Almost gets Villani’s wicket with a cut shot that flies into the air, but it’s just into the gap for four. Oh, Villani almost stumped, excellent reaction time from Healy, but she’s just safe as she gets her toe back down.
2nd over: Perth Scorchers 7-0 (Villani 4, Bolton 1)
First ball from Perry and Villani gets a thick edge through an absent slip cordon. Maher speculates that Perry is struggling with a possible shoulder injury - let’s hope no issue. She does follow it with a wide, however. Now we’re hearing Perry had a “ponytail” issue rather than a shoulder - far different! Phew.
Villani is tempted at another wide, swinging delivery from Perry, which could well have been a wide. Bit of a nervous start for both games. Villani averages just 13 at the Adelaide Oval.
1st over: Perth Scorchers 3-0 (Villani 2, Bolton 1)
Ash Gardner opens the bowling, some sloppy fielding from the Sixers allows some easy runs through (three misfields for the over) - plenty of nerves on show. Villani starts confidently with a sweep across the line.
For those like me who are used to the other scoring system, we’re going with runs then wickets, so 3-0 = three runs, for no wickets! Don’t worry there hasn’t been an epic collapse.
Here’s our captains
Always awkward when doing the official promo. Villani has just walked out onto the ground with Nicole Bolton, and takes guard so I’ll get ready for the over-by-over!
Great to see three of my favourites in Mel Jones, Lisa Sthalker and Andy Maher taking up commentary duties for today’s final.
Back in the day when I played cricket for Victoria (a long time ago), Jones was my captain/coach at Essendon Maribyrnong Park. Ultimate professional, and lovely person to boot. Always impeccably prepared and knowledgable, my favourite commentator. Not biased, promise.
The Sydney Sixers are back to defend their title, having been here on the final day of the WBBL for all three seasons of the competition to date. The Scorchers will be hoping to avenge last year’s finals heartbreak, losing by just seven runs to the Sixers in WBBL02. They also lost their semi-final in WBBL01 by just one run, so it’s about time luck went their way. Credit to them making the final after an excellent win over the Sydney Thunder, although you have to feel for the Thunder after they finished second and had to play against the Scorchers on their home ground (this is due to the fact that the women’s semi-finals were staged before the men’s BBL semis, which both happened to be at the home grounds of the lower-finishing women’s semi-final teams – the Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers). Ash Gardner of the Sixers had plenty to say about the scheduling, and I reckon we’d be hearing a lot more about it if the Sixers had gone down also.
Head-to-head, the Sixers have won four of seven of their clashes against the Scorchers.
Who to watch:
Sarah Aley (Sixers) took four wickets for 23 runs in last year’s final, and on Friday against the Strikers, took four wickets for 18 runs (with four for one run after her first two overs). I also can’t wait to see how Ash Gardner bats, after she smashed 72 off 45 against the Strikers.
Katherine Brunt of the Scorchers, meanwhile missed last year’s final, but took two wickers for 19 runs the last time these two sides played. Nicole Bolton, meanwhile, has surprised with her bowling load this season, and was player of the match against the Thunder in their semi. Better known as a batter, she made 42 last time these two sides played, but again managed two wickets for 15 runs. Has been critical to her side’s bowling line-up.
Hello everyone and welcome to the Women’s Big Bash League 03 final between the Sydney Sixers and the Perth Scorchers. I’m very excited to be here bringing you all the over-by-over action. Be sure to stay tuned in afterwards as Geoff Lemon takes over for the Men’s Big Bash League final between the Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes.
The Perth Scorchers have won the toss and elected to bat, while both sides will take unchanged semi-final line-ups into today’s final.
Play is due to begin at 12:20 AEDT or 11:50am ACDT. That’s in approx 20 mins time.
Kate will be here shortly.