Megan Schutt produced a come-from-behind win after taking a record 6 wickets in the Strikers’ final match of the group stages versus Thunder, to top this year’s bowling rankings with 23 wickets at an Economy Rate of 6.40 – pipping Ash Gardner (23 wickets at 6.42) by just 2 hundredths of a run.
Schutt led a Striker-Force (!) which topped the overall bowling metrics for this year’s competition, with their five core bowlers (Schutt, Wellington, Barsby, Darcie Brown and Dottin) doing almost all the work, bowling 93% of the Strikers overs between them.
|Bowling||Balls Per…||Avg Run Rate|
|Wicket||Dot||Single||Two||4/6||Wide||1st Ins||2nd Ins||PP|
Undoubtedly the most surprising name in the Top 10 is that of Sasha Moloney – the 30-year-old journeyman transferred over to the Stars this season after spending her entire career with Tasmania/ Hobart, and had a golden six weeks in the Melbourne green. Initially bowling at first-change, she was then promoted to opening the bowling in the second half of the competition, finishing with 20 wickets at a better Economy Rate than either of the bowlers above her.
Amanda Jade Wellington came out on top in the battle of the Australian leg-spinners, taking 4 more wickets than Alana King; though King returned a significantly superior Economy Rate, which is likely what was influencing the Australian selectors when they picked the latter in their squad for the up-coming series against India.
Sophie Ecclestone, in her first WBBL season with the Sydney Sixers, was the highest ranked overseas bowler at 8, just ahead of Amelia Kerr at 9. Ecclestone’s success could be considered something of a personal triumph against the received wisdom amongst the Aussie commentariat that she struggles in Australia because her stock delivery is too quick to get any grip and turn on their fast, bouncy pitches – a view which misses the point that turn has never really been what Ecclestone is about anyway, and which we can hopefully put to bed now.
|1. Megan Schutt (Strikers)||13||23||6.40|
|2. Ash Gardner (Sixers)||14||23||6.42|
|3. Sasha Moloney (Stars)||14||20||6.24|
|4. Amanda Jade Wellington (Strikers)||14||21||6.62|
|5. Molly Strano (Hurricanes)||14||18||5.76|
|6. Alana King (Scorchers)||14||17||5.91|
|7. Jess Jonassen (Heat)||14||20||7.02|
|8. Sophie Ecclestone (Sixers)||14||18||6.41|
|9. Amelia Kerr (Heat)||14||19||6.77|
|10. Jemma Barsby (Strikers)||14||16||5.86|
|11. Nicola Hancock (Heat)||14||22||8.38|
|12. Annabel Sutherland (Stars)||14||21||8.00|
|13. Lilly Mills (Scorchers)||14||15||6.81|
|14. Marizanne Kapp (Scorchers)||14||12||5.74|
|15. Lauren Cheatle (Sixers)||14||15||7.32|
|16. Sam Bates (Thunder)||14||12||6.02|
|17. Darcie Brown (Strikers)||14||13||6.59|
|18. Maisy Gibson (Hurricanes)||13||12||6.30|
|19. Kim Garth (Stars)||14||12||6.71|
|20. Lauren Smith (Thunder)||13||11||6.54|
|21. Sophie Day (Stars)||14||11||6.83|
|22. Nicola Carey (Hurricanes)||14||13||8.20|
|23. Shabnim Ismail (Renegades)||13||11||6.95|
|24. Maitlan Brown (Sixers)||8||12||7.81|
|25. Sophie Molineux (Renegades)||12||11||7.17|
|26. Sarah Coyte (Renegades)||13||10||7.20|
|27. Kate Peterson (Sixers)||12||10||7.29|
|28. Piepa Cleary (Scorchers)||14||11||8.03|
|29. Deandra Dottin (Strikers)||14||10||7.56|
|30. Alice Capsey (Stars)||14||9||6.98|
Ranking = Wickets / Economy
I’ve enjoyed the games that have been shown on Sky and the few others I’ve managed to catch bits of on the CA live streams.
Sixers have been the stand out side. They been impressive and pulled off some great wins, notably the match when Healy scored a ton (I’d given that one up and gone to bed, imagine my shock in the morning!) and then when Burns and Ecclestone had that massive partnership. It will be good to see Ecclestone in the final, she’s played very well out there given this is her first season. I agree about the bowling speed/turn comments you made, Sophie is so skillful she would succeed anywhere. And Edwards continues to excel in her management roles too.
Melbourne Stars have been impressive at times too. Although they’re notably short of many big Aussie regulars, the 3 English players Winfield-Hill, Capsey and Heath have done well, played very aggressively, and all helped the team finish level on points with last season’s champions (and nearly above them if not for that last washout which Stars would surely have won!) Reid, Sutherland and Moloney returned some good numbers too and the side were playing some of the best cricket in the league at times. And what a mess Scorchers conspired to make of those last few games! They’ve had a disappointing season all told.
Bear in mind when ranking Schutt as top bowler that at least 4 of those 6 wickets in the last game were of lower order players from a poorly performing Thunder side, when the game was already effectively lost. Earlier in the season, she was struggling to make so much of an impression I thought. Anyway, looking forward to the Eliminator now.