WBBL: Semi-Finals Still Wide Open

With the bottom three sides all registering at least one win over the weekend, the chase for the semi-finals is still on – all 8 teams have a chance of qualification and none are yet certain.

Top-of-the-league Sydney Thunder had the opportunity to seal qualification against the Melbourne Renegades, but for once their batting let them down, and they were bowled out for 103 chasing 139, with Molly Strano and Sophie Molineux taking 3-apiece for the Renegades.

At the other end of the table – last going into the weekend – the Sydney Sixers won four on the bounce. They kept their hopes more-than alive by beating the Adelaide Strikers (twice) and the Renegades (twice) as Ellyse Perry finally fired with the bat, making 57, 65, 46 and 67*.

This left the Strikers needing a win against the Melbourne Stars to save their season, and they got it as Sarah Coyte hit 71 off 54 balls before New Zealand’s Sophie Devine came in at the end and delivered 47* off just 15 balls – a Strike Rate of over 300 – to set the Stars a massive target of 170.

The Strikers then followed the tried-and-trusted formula for beating the Stars – get Meg Lanning out – bowled by Amanda Wellington for 16 – the Strikers winning in the end by 50 runs.

So with Sky announcing they will show the final in the UK, who will we get to see? Well below is how it’s looking going into the final furlong, with the top 4 qualifying for the semi-finals.

Even the bottom-of-the-table Renegades could still yet qualify if they win all their games and the four sides above them lose all theirs; but only the current top-4 have their destiny in their own hands.

It’s exciting stuff, and a dream come true for Cricket Australia, with crowds and TV audiences exceeding all expectations… and it ain’t over yet!

Played Points
1. Sydney Thunder 11 16
2. Hobart Hurricanes 11 14
3. Brisbane Heat 13 14
4. Melbourne Stars 11 12
5. Perth Scorchers 12 10
6. Sydney Sixers 11 10
7. Adelaide Strikers 11 8
8. Melbourne Renegades 10 6
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8 thoughts on “WBBL: Semi-Finals Still Wide Open

  1. It is absolutely a fact that none are yet certain of qualification – however the only combination of results that will stop Thunder qualifying automatically (and even these leave Thunder in a 5 way tie on 16 pts) are:-

    Stars bt Thunder
    Sixers bt Hurricanes
    Heat bt Strikers
    Sixers bt Thunder
    Hurricanes bt Stars
    Stars bt Thunder
    Sixers bt Hurricanes
    (the other results don’t matter)

    Strangely, were Sixers to win their last 3 matches, it is the same set of results (as shown above) that would be needed to prevent them from qualifying automatically (and even then they would be in the same 5 way tie on 16 pts). In other words, it is true that “only the current top-4 have their destiny in their own hands” but the Sixers are (remarkabe given where they were a couple of weeks ago) incredibly close to having it in their own hands.

    If Thunder beats Stars on Friday, not only are they certain of qualification but they also are certain of a top 2 finish (not sure whether that’s a benefit or not – presumably they don’t get a home tie !)

    The most interesting results are Friday are for Thunder to beat Stars, Sixers to beat Hurricanes and Strikers beat Renegades. Not only would this make the final weekend far more interesting but it would still leave open the opportunity for a 6-way tie on 14pts (with Thunder at the top, Renegades at the bottom and the other 6 going for the abacus).

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  2. PS: Really agree with your final paragraph. So much to learn from the WBBL because they’ve got so much of it right. Has been a fantastic event.

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  3. Very exciting indeed! Just to confirm the final is on Sun 24 Jan, although I’m not sure what time? Presumably it will be either late Saturday night or very early Sunday morning here in the UK.

    Personally I think the Sixers have a real chance now that they have turned their form round. If Perry’s bowling gets better which it can, they could go all the way. Strange that neither the Sixers team featured Marsh or the Renegades Wyatt for the last game (44th match). Any insight on that? Are they injured or just out of favour?

    Strikers almost completely lost it and desperately needed that win over Stars to avoid a disastrous weekend. Their run-in was supposed to be easy as well, but we didn’t count on Sixers’ revival! The Strikers-Stars result also means that Stars are hardly home & hosed either and still need 1 or even 2 more wins from their last 3 games. It was also a disappointing game for the England players, neither Taylor nor Sciver had games to write home about.

    Strikers now have a tough time of it, to me. Even given 4 more points from 2 wins vs. Renegades, they will probably need to beat Heat as well, in the latter’s final match which they will also be desperate to win. As Sixers need to play Hurricanes twice, a lot of the run-in could depend on those 2 games. But Sixers 2 points advantage over Strikers could be telling. Stars/Scorchers could make all that irrelevant though…

    Renegades are now pretty much out, and it would require a near miraculous escape to see them qualify. I can’t see it happening.

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    • Wyatt was injured in the previous game – hit on the arm – had scans, just bruising. Expected to be back next week.

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    • Scorchers, Strikers and Renegades have an almost identical problem. In each case there is an extreme set of results (such as almost very remaining match going a particular way) that would enable them to get to 4th-equal with 12 pts but chances of that are so small they have to win ALL their remaining matches (and even then there are combinations where either may still not qualify).

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  4. Sophie Devine has been commuting between the WBBL and the New Zealand domestic T20 competition, where she plays for my home team, Wellington. Her form in NZ has been excellent – I saw her score a NZ domestic record T20 100 off 44 balls a week or so ago, with nine sixes including many onto the embankment at the Basin Reserve – but until the innings you mention she had found it difficult to replicate that form for the Adelaide Strikers.

    I hope it hasn’t come too late for them; but from a New Zealand perspective the form of the White Ferns playing in the WBBL has been very encouraging.

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  5. Here is the (only) result sequence for the remaining games that will put 6 teams on 14 pts:-
    Thunder bt Stars
    Sixers bt Hurricanes
    Strikers bt Renegades
    Strikers bt Heat
    Thunder bt Sixers
    Stars bt Hurricanes
    Scorchers bt Renegades
    Thunder bt Stars
    Sixers bt Hurricanes
    Strikers bt Renegades
    Scorchers bt Renegades
    (nothing against Renegades, just happens to be the only sequence).

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