WBBL: Bowling Rankings – Jess’tice League

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.

Player Played Wickets Economy
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

One thought on “WBBL: Bowling Rankings – Jess’tice League

  1. I’ve always been impressed by Garth – she’s a real wicket-taking option who can bowl Kapp-style jaffers and offers a bit with the bat as well. For me the jury’s still slightly out on Alana King – obviously very talented and gets some turn but I think she might be a bit tactically limited, by just throwing it up there quite full usually… she might need to bowl a bit more at start / end of an innings to develop her game a bit more? I was also impressed with Brown, Mills and Wellington; the latter after not an ideal start really produced the goods at the business end of the competition like she did in the Hundred. Kapp was awesome all the way through and must be a bowler much feared by openers around the world now. Sutherland is very good too but I think another Aussie who only knows one way, full and straight when bowling, down the ground when batting – a bit robotic and lacking in innovation if the situation calls for it maybe? McGrath though, she is turning into a Sciver-like all rounder, powerful batter and very useful pace option. Really rate her and think she will be a big part of Aussie Ashes squad.

    At least Devine finally won something, as well! Great a player as she is and has been for quite a number of years, translating that into success in terms of trophies has been difficult… now at least some silverware for her and a new WBBL champion side, good to see. Scorchers deserved it overall I thought.

    This WBBL season was a bit weird though I thought. Fewer close games generally and quite a lot of low scores. Captains started using more bowlers than previous years I thought, with 7 options quite common – leaving the main strike bowlers often with an over unused. Strange tactic. Another pattern which emerged was teams batting second winning easily – especially near the end of the season, although not in the final at least. After 2 knockout games with the Strikers skittling the opposition out then knocking off the runs in no time, it was a pleasant surprise to see Scorchers survive the initial assault then build a decent total. In the end they were just too good.

    Overall very much enjoyed watching the games I could, plus highlights of a few others. I thought the English players did pretty well considering this was the first time most had gone out there.

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