Approaching the half-way stage in the competition, the WBBL remains pretty close – apart from the Renegades, stuck at the bottom with just 1 win from 7 matches, only two points separate the Melbourne Stars in 1st place, from the Brisbane Heat in 7th!
The star of the Christmas period was definitely the Adelaide Strikers’ Sophie Devine, whose 48-ball century (103*) knocked the wind out of the Hurricanes, who had put themselves in a strong position with a total of 143, including 69 from Heather Knight. Devine is a fascinating player to watch – she does’t move much of anything, but she generates incredible bat-speed with a late whip of the wrists, sending the ball over the ropes for 6 on no less than 8 occasions in this innings.
In the Stars v Heat double-header, Meg Lanning made a match-winning 97* as the Stars set up a 54-run victory in the first match, whilst Beth Mooney was the star with 55 off 50 balls as the Heat got the revenge in the the following day’s sequel.
The Sydney Sixers leaped up to 3rd this week, with wins over the Thunder and the Hurricanes. Ash Gardner made some nice runs across the two matches; but it was really the bowling performances in the Hurricanes game in particular which made the difference. While Sarah Aley took the Player-of-the-Match plaudits for her 3-13, you can’t ignore the roles of openers Marizanne Kapp and Ellyse Perry – after the 1st over went for 8 runs, the next 4 went for just one run each, creating early pressure which left the Hurricanes chasing the game in vain from thereon in.
Meanwhile, the Perth Scorchers made short work of the Renegades in their only match of the week, as Elyse Villani posted her second 50 of the tournament, to keep them in the hunt.