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|Mignon du Preez||17||17||2||0||100.00|
We are almost midway through in the ongoing Women's Big Bash League 2018 and things are looking really tight in the middle of the points table. Adelaide Strikers, Melbourne Renegades, and Hobart Hurricanes have all one win each and are striving hard to get into the top half. Remaining team, however, are within the distance of one win away from each other. With so tightly contested points table, the battle between Melbourne Stars and Adelaide Strikers becomes ever more significant. Both the sides are currently lying in the bottom half of the table, but a win here can really kickstart their respective campaign, something which both the sides will be desperately looking to do in the next encounter.
A loss to Brisbane Heat in their recent-most encounter ensured that the Stars continue to stay in the bottom of the table. The Stars now have three wins in six matches to their name with an aggregate of six points. They are well and truly in contention for the playoff spots, but their extremely poor current net run rate of -0.874 will most likely knock them out if in case it gets to net run rate.
A win here can take them to the third spot in the points table, provided that the other results, too, go their way. The Stars were annihilated by Brisbane Heat in their most recent encounter where they succumbed to a 10-wicket loss.
Batting first on a reasonably good surface, Melbourne Stars lost Lizelle Lee in the second over of their innings, something which had last consequences. Largely because of that early wicket, the Stars never looked in control and though they had wickets in hand at the halfway stage of their innings, they couldn't push the accelerator. They could score just 132 in their allotted 20 overs.
Bowlers couldn't have done much to defend such a low total and Grace Harris' terrific hundred sealed the deal. The Stars had to use as many as seven bowlers so as to dismiss her, but they all failed as Brisbane Heat women cruised to the total with no loss and nine overs to spare.
Lizelle Lee, Angela Reakes, Katie Mack, Erin Osborne, Mignon du Preez, Georgia Elwiss, Annabel Sutherland, Alana King, Nicole Faltum, Nicola Hancock, Holly Ferling.
The Strikers are struggling to get to the top half of the table and have just one win to their name from five matches. A no-result hasn't really helped them as they had to share points with Melbourne Renegades.
Unlike their men's team, which had a terrific game today, the Strikers lost their last encounter, against Sydney Thunder without really putting up a fight. Batting first after losing the toss, they were restricted to a modest total of 145 which was chased easily by the Thunder.
Although Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine provided Strikers with a reasonable start, their failure to carry on sparked a collapse in their batting order. Strikers lost both their openers in the space of an over. Bridget Patterson tried to revive their innings, but the revival was so slow that Strikers could not put anything substantial on the board.
The Strikers needed early wickets to have any chance whatsoever of defending this total and they got rid of Priest off the first ball of the match. They got Stalenberg thereafter in the second over, but failure to keep the pressure on and some poor bowling in the middle overs saw Thunder cruise to the total in 19th over.
Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, T McGrath, B Patterson, Amanda Wellington, T McPharlin, T Saville, Megan Schutt, S Coyte, Danielle Hazell, A Price.
Going by the proceedings of the competition so far, the two teams have plenty in common. Batting has been a major disappointment for both the sides which can be validated by the sting of low totals put up by them in recent games. Despite having a fewer number of wins as compared to Stars so far in the tournament, Adelaide Strikers appear to be a better side and are likely to emerge victorious on Friday.