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WBBL final: Strikers blow two huge chances

This game has had more twists than a ballerina.

Just when it looks like dropping Charli Knott will come back to haunt Adelaide, Megan Schutt has her caught by Tahlia McGrath.

26 needed off 18 balls. Jess Jonassen and Amelia Kerr in.

READ MORE: HOW STRIKERS BUILT A WBBL SUPERPOWER

STRIKERS BLOW TWO KEY CHANCES

Adelaide Strikers have missed two huge opportunities to take control of the WBBL final.

Katie Mack dropped a simple chance on the boundary to remove Charli Knott in the 16th over, costing four runs.

And two balls later Bridget Patterson missed out on a stumping chance to get rid of Amelia Kerr.

The pressure is building.

FIVE OVERS LEFT, 45 RUNS NEEDED

With five overs left in the WBBL decider, it’s anyone’s guess who will prevail.

The Heat need 45 off 30 balls — or nine runs an over from here.

That’s considerably more than the asking price which was just above six at the start of the innings.

Charli Knott and Amelia Kerr need a few boundaries in the next 2-3 overs.

MCGRATH TAKES TWO IN TWO BALLS

Tahlia McGrath strikes twice in two balls.

This final is wild.

Mignon du Preez is bowled trying to heave McGrath across the line and the next ball Laura Harris is hit on the pads and the balls ricochets back onto the stumps.

Brisbane needs more than eight an over and Adelaide Oval is rocking.

At the end of the 13th over the Heat are 4-72 needing 54 off 42 for victory.

Two boundaries after the Harris wicket in that over helped. MCGRATH

HEAT NEEDS 72 OFF 60

At the halfway mark, Brisbane Heat is 2-54.

So the required run rate from this point is 7.2.

The crowd has been confirmed at 12,379 which is the biggest ever for a WBBL game in Adelaide.

WELLINGTON GETS REDMAYNE

Adelaide Strikers have landed another blow, with Georgia Redmayne chipping an easy catch to Tahlia McGrath.

Amanda Wellington deceived Redmayne in flight as Adelaide looks for a way back into the decider

HARRIS HOLES OUT

Is that an opening for the Strikers?

Jemma Barsby’s second ball drops short and Grace Harris looks to go big but doesn’t connect.

Her pull shot falls metres short of going for six and Katie Mack completes the catch.

The Heat need another 94 runs.

HEAT MAKES IDEAL START TO CHASE

Grace Harris and Georgia Redmayne have given Brisbane Heat a perfect start as they chase 126 to win the WBBL09 crown.

With a mix of inventiveness — including Harris lap sweeping Darcie Brown for four — and precision, the Heat raced to 0-25 after three overs and only needed 101 more at that point.

Redmayne twice punched Megan Schutt through gaps in the third over.

Harris was dropped at slip by Maddy Penna in the next over in what could be a decisive moment.

“There’s no bigger (wicket) than Grace Harris at the moment,” says Rachael Haynes.

STRIKERS SET HEAT 126 FOR VICTORY — WILL IT BE ENOUGH?

The Strikers have set Brisbane a target of 126 for victory in the WBBL09 final at Adelaide Oval.

Laura Wolvaardt top-scored with 39, with Tahlia McGrath making a quickfire 38 after winning the bat flip on Saturday evening.

A fiery spell from Nicola Hancock, who finished with 3-23 from her four overs, was pivotal for the Heat, who did well to restrict Adelaide in the back half of the innings.

TAHLIA ATTACK

The Strikers’ innings got off to a shaky start with their leading run scorer Katie Mack departing cheaply, the opener dismissed for three runs in the second over when she chopped a Hancock delivery onto her leg stump.

But that brought McGrath to the crease and the skipper quickly set about laying a solid foundation.

McGrath got off the mark with the first four of the innings and flayed the attack to all parts, with six fours and a superb six as she raced to 38 off 34 balls.

McGrath shared a quickfire 50-run partnership off 34 balls with Wolvaardt, but was shaken in the 10th over when a top edge smashed into her helmet.

After a short break to receive medical treatment, Hancock won the enthralling battle between bowler and batter when she clipped the top of off-stump to send McGrath on her way.

TURNING UP THE HEAT

Wolvaardt had been the junior partner in the 65-run partnership with McGrath, but the opener advanced to 39 runs, with four fours, after the skipper’s departure.

The home side was well-placed at 2-71 after 10 overs, but the Heat was able to put the brakes on the run rate with some outstanding bowling.

Wickets fell regularly, with the Strikers managing just 11 runs and losing two wickets during their two Power Surge overs.

FINAL TOTAL: Adelaide Strikers 5-125

HEAT TURNS UP THE PRESSURE

Brisbane Heat has turned the pressure on Adelaide Strikers with a series of stingy overs.

Heat skipper Jess Jonassen also got the big wicket of Laura Wolvaardt stumped, leaving Adelaide with an uphill battle to reach its pre-determined target of 160.

Only nine runs were conceded in the 14th to 16th over, a huge period for the Heat.

HANCOCK WITH ANOTHER BIG WICKET

Nicola Hancock has struck another crucial blow for Brisbane Heat, removing Tahlia McGrath on the last ball of the 10th over.

McGrath and Laura Wolvaardt had combined for a partnership which had Adelaide in control before Hancock claimed her second wicket by bowling McGrath.

Strikers spinner Jemma Barsby says Adelaide is targeting at least 160 runs batting first.

HEAT BURNS REVIEW

Brisbane Heat has burned a review as it tries desperately to break a dangerous partnership between Tahlia McGrath and Laura Wolvaardt.

Jess Jonassen struck Wolvaardt on the pad and she was given not out despite vocal appeals from the Heat.

Brisbane opted to review but replays showed the ball was sliding down leg side.

McGrath and Wolvaardt have put on more than 50 and are setting te platform for a huge score.

MCGRATH, WOLVAARDT RESPOND TO EARLY PRESSURE

Captain Tahlia McGrath and Laura Wolvaardt have responded to early pressure from Brisbane Heat to have Adelaide Strikers in a strong position after the power play.

After batting first in the WBBL09 decider, the Strikers are 1-34 after four overs.

That included three consecutive boundaries for South African Wolvaardt off Heat skipper Jess Jonassen during the fourth over.

HANCOCK LANDS EARLY BLOW FOR HEAT

Nicola Hancock has landed a huge early blow for Brisbane Heat after Adelaide Strikers chose to bat first in the WBBL decider at Adelaide Oval.

Strikers opener Katie Mack was bowled after chopping an attempted pull shot onto her stumps with the second ball of Hancock’s first over in the powerplay.

“Might have just silenced the crowd for a split second,” says Mel Jones in commentary.

BAT FLIP: STRIKERS WIN TOSS, ELECT TO BAT

Adelaide Strikers have won the toss and will bat first in their home WBBL decider against Brisbane Heat.

Captain Tahlia McGrath had no hesitation opting to bat, saying she was looking forward to her side putting runs on the board for Brisbane to chase.

“We can’t wait…we’re hoping (the home crowd) make some noise for us,” McGrath said.

English all-rounder Dani Gibson has departed for international duties, but Adelaide welcomes back Darcie Brown.

Mikayla Hinkley is in for the Heat, replacing Bess Heath.

Heat skipper Jess Jonassen says she would have also batted.

“It’s no surprise they opted to bat first,” she said.

BOTH FINALISTS CLAIM ADVANTAGE AHEAD OF DECIDER

Ed Bourke

Both WBBL finalists claim they have been advantaged by the competition’s quirky finals system as the well travelled Brisbane Heat try to upset Adelaide’s bid for back-to-back titles on Saturday.

The Strikers have not had to play during the WBBL finals after finishing on top and qualifying directly for a home final at the Adelaide Oval, but the Heat were forced onto the road for two knockout clashes at home and then in Perth the next day in a madcap run to the

tournament decider.

Brisbane Heat captain Jess Jonassen said the chaotic travel schedule was “no disadvantage at all” for the away side, who have found form again after a late season slump with big wins over the Sydney Thunder and Perth Scorchers.

“It’s not a disadvantage at all, to be honest we actually weren’t too displeased we were going to Perth, because it meant we actually got the opportunity to play … the forecast in (Brisbane) was diabolical,” Jonassen said.

“All teams have been in a similar position with the amount of travel, but we’ve got some really good momentum at an ideal and opportunistic time, so we’re looking to go for one more.”

Opposing captain Tahlia McGrath disagreed, saying the Strikers stood to benefit from time off at home after a busy season which included playing “home” games at interstate venues as part of the packed schedule.

“I think it’s been an advantage — there’s been so much travel and it’s such a hectic schedule.

We’ve been able to spend the last four or five days at home, we had a couple of days off, a really good hitout with some centre wicket stuff and then it’s just been about getting the individual prep we need to be ready,” McGrath said.

“We’ve been in this situation four times in the last five years and we’ve kept that same core group for pretty much all those finals, so we’re really calm.

“We’re really excited and we’re stoked that it’s a home final, we haven’t played a grand final in front of the home crowd.

“And we’ve played some really good games at home this year, we’re undefeated at home and love it when we have that crowd supporting us.”


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