The final of the Women’s Big Bash League 2021 has just finished. Adelaide Strikers who annihilated Brisbane Heat and then Melbourne Renegades to qualify for the final came up just short against the Perth Scorchers, who qualified directly for the final by virtue of winning the league stage outright.
Although Tahlia McGrath (4-0-14-1) and Megan Schutt (4-0-19-1) were typically economical, Scorchers posted a respectable 146-5 from their 20 overs with major contributions from Sophie Devine and Marizanne Kapp. Amanda-Jade Wellington, leading wicker of the tournament and joint lead wicket taker of any WBBL tournament had an off day for once.
Strikers got off to a horribly slow start and although they subsequently revived their innings well they were always well behind the required rate. With four overs to go they needed 53, and although Madeline Penna counterattacked successfully in the 17th over, the 18th and 19th were both far too economical for that stage of an innings, and Strikers needed 22 off the last over. Peschel bowled two wides in the course of the final over, but the other deliveries were good enough that 14 were needed off the final ball. Only a single eventuated, and Scorchers were home by 12 runs.
A MULTI-TALENTED TEAM
Although she did not play the final today, this part of the post is inspired by an Adelaide Strikers player, all rounder Jemma Barsby. She bowls both off spin and left arm orthodox spin, which is a combination of talents I have not previously come across. I have put together an XI of players who had talents in multiple areas, which I list below in batting order with brief comments on their range of talents.
*WG Grace – right handed opening batter, right arm bowler of various styles, captain.
+George Brown – right handed batter, right arm fast bowler, wicket keeper. He was good enough as an opener to be selected for England in that role, he took a decent haul of wickets as a bowler, and Hampshire’s best bowler of his era, Alec Kennedy, rated him the best keeper who ever kept to him.
Garry Sobers – left handed batter, left arm bowler of pretty much every type known to cricket. The most complete player the game has thus far seen.
Wally Hammond – right handed batter, right arm medium fast bowler, occasional off spinner.
A brief account of the WBBL final which took place early this morning UK time.
This post looks at the final of the Women’s Big Bash League, which took place in the early hours of this morning UK time.
A SPLENDID FINAL
Sophie Devine had had a dream season for the Adelaide Strikers but had a personal nightmare in the final. The Kiwi fell for just five, before her compatriot Suzie Bates and Tahlia McGrath righted things with a good second wicket stand. Both were out close together and Bridget Patterson and Kayleigh Mack both went cheaply, but Amanda–Jade Wellington whose previous competition best score was 23 made a splendid 55 off 33 balls to give the strikers a final total of 161-7 from their 20 overs. Maddy Green managed only 11 for Heat in the reply, but then Sammy–Jo Johnson blasted 27 off just 11 balls (including four sixes off Sophie Devine) to put Heat well ahead of the rate. Jess Jonassenmade 33 off 28, and Laura Harris was unbeaten on 19, in partnership with player of the final Beth Mooneywho anchored the innings with an unbeaten 56, Heat having 11 balls to spare (and six wickets, including Kiwi all-rounder Amelia Kerr, due to come in next) when they completed the chase. To win a big tournament is a fine achievement, but to do so twice running is particularly impressive because on the second occasion everyone else knows that you are the team to beat. Sophie Devine was player of the tournament, but in the final she could only produce five and figures of 1-46 from three overs. It was a highly enjoyable final, but ultimately Brisbane Heat were simply too good for Adelaide Strikers.
Accounts of the Rugby World Cup Final, a WBBL T20 and England’s 2nd T20I v New Zealand. Also lots of photographs.
Most of my readers will be aware of what happened in Yokohama yesterday morning, but that was not the only fixture involving an England team this weekend, and before sharing some photographs I mention both matches.
ENGLAND RUGBY TEAM HAMMERED
England went into the men’s Rugby World Cup final as favourites, having downed the mighty All Blacks in the semi-final. I was listening to commentary on theWomen’s Bag Bash League game while keeping an eye on developments in the Rugby. The best it got for England was when they were briefly level at 6-6. Thereafter South Africa were utterly dominant, the two tries they ran in near the end merely making the scoreline a realistic reflection of that dominance. The WBBL game was excellent. The victorious Melbourne Stars had spinners bowl 12 of their 20 overs, and those 12 overs went for a mere 51 between them. Lizelle Lee scored an astonishing century for the Stars to give them a very respectable total, which their bowlers as described above defended.
NEW ZEALAND LEVEL T20 SERIES
England won the first match of the five game T20 series in New Zealand, but the hosts struck back in the small hours of the morning GB time. Worcestershire’s Pat Brown got slapped for 32 off just two overs, while Lewis Gregory who mysteriously also only got two overs started his international bowling career by knocking a stump back with his very first delivery and finished with 1-10. England were not up with the rate at any point of the chase, and when their final wicket fell to the penultimate ball of the game the margin was 21 runs (substantial in this form of the game). Chris Jordan had a fine match for England, with 3-25 and then 36 off 19 balls (second top England score behind Dawid Malan with 39). Saqib Mahmood, picked without the domestic figures to suggest international quality, had 1-46 from his four overs, a very poor showing.
My usual sign off (features a couple of spider pics near the end)…