Heat skipper Jess Jonassen was one of three players to join Molly Strano in the 100-wicket club in WBBL this year, marking her out as one of the most consistent performers across the seasons. Bowling mostly towards the end of the powerplay and in the early middle overs, Jonassen took 21 wickets at the respectable economy rate of 6.5 to top the season’s bowling rankings. Despite a long career and a cabinet full of medals, including two WBBL titles, Jonassen has always slipped slightly below the headlines – she was Player of the Match in a Test better remembered for Anya Shrubsole’s 47-ball duck; and she took 3 wickets in the T20 World Cup final at the MCG, but the only spinner on the back pages the next morning was Molly Strano, dancing with Katy Perry. But maybe this is the year “Jess’tice” will finally be served?
Should Jonassen not add a third WBBL winners medal to her shelf, Alana King will have been a big part of the reason why. Having moved to the Scorchers this year after 6 slightly glass-half-empty seasons at Melbourne Stars, the 26-year-old has blossomed. Bowling mainly in the middle overs, she was one of a cluster of players taking 15/16 wickets in the group stages, but beat them all out with a superior economy rate to rank second on the list. It’s a textbook example of what having the courage to move clubs can do for your career, especially if you’ve been a long time in one place – working with different coaches in a new environment can be the spark that relights the fire!
King was one of 3 Scorchers bowlers to make the top 10, alongside Young Gun candidate Lilly Mills and Heather Graham, who will play her hundredth WBBL match in the final next weekend, and also quietly passed the hundred wicket mark this year – as did another Scorchers player, Marizanne Kapp, who was slightly down the wickets column this season, but did post the best Economy Rate for the 5th time in 7 WBBL seasons.
The top-ranked overseas player… albeit only ‘technically’ overseas these days, was Irish woman Kim Garth. (Having lived in Australia for several years, Garth will qualify as a domestic player from next season.) Watching Garth this season has been a rollercoaster ride – she bowled three consecutive maidens (with 3 wickets) against Sydney Sixers; but also got tonked for 21 in a single over by Rachel Priest and Naomi Stalenberg against the Hurricanes; while unplayable wicket balls were sandwiched between rank half-trackers and long-hops that looked like they belonged on a breakfast buffet. But you know what? That’s ok – it’s in the script for a “strike” bowler, and if she can continue to excel in that quite specific role, and stay injury-free (which is looking like it is going to be the current Aussie incumbent Tayla Vlaeminck’s problem), there may yet be further international honours waiting for Garth in green… just this time with a little gold mixed in.
|1. Jess Jonassen (Heat)||13||21||6.5|
|2. Alana King (Scorchers)||13||16||5.8|
|3. Heather Graham (Scorchers)||13||16||6.3|
|4. Hannah Darlington (Thunder)||13||16||6.4|
|5. Kim Garth (Stars)||12||15||6.2|
|6. Lilly Mills (Scorchers)||13||16||6.8|
|7. Darcie Brown (Strikers)||12||15||6.4|
|8. Amanda-Jade Wellington (Strikers)||14||16||7.1|
|9. Annabel Sutherland (Stars)||12||14||6.4|
|10. Sarah Coyte (Strikers)||14||15||7.0|
|11. Tayla Vlaeminck (Hurricanes)||14||13||6.1|
|12. Ruth Johnston (Hurricanes)||13||13||6.1|
|13. Marizanne Kapp (Scorchers)||13||11||5.2|
|14. Sam Bates (Thunder)||13||12||5.8|
|15. Molly Strano (Hurricanes)||14||15||7.3|
|16. Harmanpreet Kaur (Renegades)||12||15||7.5|
|17. Nicola Carey (Hurricanes)||14||13||6.9|
|18. Megan Schutt (Strikers)||10||10||5.3|
|19. Nicola Hancock (Heat)||11||13||6.9|
|20. Lauren Cheatle (Sixers)||8||10||5.4|
|21. Courtney Sippel (Heat)||8||12||6.5|
|22. Deepti Sharma (Thunder)||13||13||7.2|
|23. Sophie Molineux (Renegades)||12||10||5.6|
|24. Poonam Yadav (Heat)||12||9||6.7|
|25. Tahlia McGrath (Strikers)||14||10||7.5|
Bowling Ranking = Wickets / Economy