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|Amy Ellen Jones||14||16||2||0||87.50|
We are more than 40 days and 50 games into Women's Big Bash League, but the race to the knockouts is still not over. Sydney Thunder, Sydney Sixers, and Brisbane Heat have already ensured a spot in the playoffs and battle for the lone spot remain between Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Renegades. Adelaide Strikers, too, are in the hunt, but their chance will materialize only if they win their both games against the Scorchers and Renegades lose both their remaining matches. The first of their two matches against Perth Scorchers will be played on 11th January at Alice Springs. It's an important match for both the sides with a probable semifinal spot at stake and we expect both the sides to come hard at each other.
Followed by a tie against Hobart Hurricanes where they just managed to garner two important points, the Strikers continued their brilliant show against the same team to take their tally to 9 points in 12 matches. Two wins on the trot have just kept them in the hunt for the playoffs, albeit hanging by a thin thread.
Twice in two matches has it happened that their top-order has done the bulk of the scoring and the management and the fans couldn't be happier. Batting first in their last match, Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates got them off to a steady start putting 61 runs on the board before Devine was caught by Hall off Pyke. Soon, they lost a couple of quick wickets, but McGrath not only ensured the stability but also kept the runs flowing. They eventually ended up scoring 165 which proved to be too much for the Hurricanes.
Almost all the teams in the BBL perhaps know their way with Hobart Hurricanes. Hurricanes had relied heavily on Smriti Mandhana and getting her wicket quickly was imperative. Danielle Hazel kept it extremely tight in her first couple of overs which resulted in Mandhana's dismissal. Although a couple of partnerships crept up to support Heather Knight who scored 55, tight middle-overs' bowling from Strikers kept them in business. Megan Schutt picked up three wickets in quick succession which triggered a collapse. Hurricanes were eventually restricted to 141, 25 runs short of where they needed to be.
Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates, T McGrath, B Patterson, T Saville, Amanda Wellington, Megan Schutt, T McPharlin, S Coyte, Danielle Hazell, A Price.
An embarrassing loss in their most recent encounter, against Sydney Sixers, has made things a little trickier for the Scorchers. Thanks to their poor net run rate, they'd have to win both of their remaining matches unless they want Melbourne Renegades to hand Renegades the advantage as far as qualification for the playoffs is concerned.
In the past few matches, Meg Lanning has certainly found her touch back scoring consistently at the top of the order. In their last match, against the Sixers, it was her lone effort that brought the Scorchers close to the Sixers' humungous total. Chasing a total of 184, Meg Lanning did the bulk of the scoring, contributing 76 off 51 deliveries. The second best effort from the side was from Carmichael who scored 19 off 17.
Earlier, their bowlers failed to exert any pressure whatsoever on Sixers' batswomen as they scored a mammoth total. Heather Graham picked up the wicket of Ashleigh Gardner, but she conceded 41 runs in her four overs in return. Although she went wicketless, Cross was their best bowler and conceded just 26 runs in her four overs.
All in all, it was a collective failure from Perth Scorchers and barring a couple of respectable performances, none of their players stepped up. Scorchers will need to work on their consistency and if they can sort that out, they may well happen to be the dark horses of the tournament.
Meg Lanning, Elyse Villani, Amy Ellen Jones, Heather Graham, Lauren Ebsary, Chloe Piparo, Hayley Jensen, Kate Cross, B Devchand, Emma King, Piepa Cleary.
It's been a roller-coaster ride for both Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers in the tournament so far. Although they haven't been in the top half of the table for long, they have both regularly knocked regularly to get into the top-four. However, with a limited number of games to go and only one spot available, only one of the two teams will be able to qualify. A loss here for Adelaide Strikers will knock them out whereas Perth Scorchers need a win unless they want to rely on other results. Considering the way things have panned out for both the sides in the last few matches, we think that Adelaide Strikers will thump Scorchers in the upcoming fixture.
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