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|Mignon du Preez||6||8||1||0||75.00|
|Dane van Niekerk||4.0||0||23||1||5.75|
|Dane van Niekerk||7||11||1||0||63.64|
Almost a two-months tussle is about to end as we approach the business end of the Women's Big Bash League. We are just one game away from the knockout stage and with points table set to stay the same, regardless of the result of the remaining fixture, the semifinal draws are confirmed. Sydney Sixers, with an emphatic win in their last match, jumped to the top of the table and will meet Melbourne Stars who are the only team remaining to play out all their fourteen matches. The Stars are placed at second at the bottom and although they'll be at the same number of points if they register a win, it is highly unlikely that they'll displace Strikers from the sixth spot, thanks to Stars' extremely low net run rate. The match is set to be played at the morning of 14th January at Melbourne.
Melbourne Stars are coming into the match after a good break of three days and should be fresh and looking up to the last encounter of the tournament as a chance to garner some pride. Although that won't have any impact whatsoever on the points table, beating the best side of the tournament will be an accomplishment in itself.
The Stars Women will love to forget their last outing as quickly as possible where they were ruthlessly thrashed by Brisbane Heat. After being put into bat first, Melbourne Stars had a disastrous start and found themselves at 14 for 3 in 4.1 overs. Mignon du Preez did her best to revive their innings, but absolutely no support from anyone else in their lineup saw them fold for just 88.
Their bowlers needed to pick up wickets in bunches to defend that sort of total, but aggressive batting from Brisbane Women never allowed the Stars to bounce back into the match. Although Sutherland, King, and Ferling picked up a wicket each, they gave away too many runs. Overall, there wasn't much their bowlers could've done after they were dismissed for 88. They'd have to come up with a much stronger performance if they are to stand any chance against the Sixers Women who are in the rampaging form at the moment.
Lizelle Lee, Angela Reakes, Mignon du Preez, Katey Martin, Erin Osborne, Nicole Faltum, Annabel Sutherland, Alana King, Kristen Beams, Nicola Hancock, Holly Ferling.
The Sixers Women continued to march of their merry ways as they registered their tenth victory of the season, against Melbourne Renegades, to take their points tally to 20 points. With this win, they've claimed the top spot of the ladder and will walk into the playoffs with their heads held high.
Batting first on an extremely tricky surface, the Sixers got off to a rather poor start as they lost Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Garnder without too many runs on the board. When Gardner departed, the Sixers were tottering at 24 for 2 in 7.3 overs. They not only needed to stem the fall of wickets but also keep the flow of the runs going and the partnership between Elysse Perry and Erin Burns did just that as the duo took their total to 136 without any further loss.
The Renegades got off to a slow but steady start in reply to Sixers' total. Just when the partnership between Sophie Molineux and Danielle Wyatt was threatening to grow big, Marizanne Kapp got rid of Molineux. This brought a flurry of wickets for Sixers with Perry, Dane van Niekerk, and Gardner chipping in with a wicket each. Kapp and Cheatle were the top wicket-takers for the Sixers and returned with the impressive figures of 4-0-19-2 and 3-0-22-2 respectively.
Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner, Erin Burns, Sara McGlashan, Dane van Niekerk, Marizanne Kapp, Sarah Aley, Lauren Smith, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Lauren Cheatle.
Considering the standings of the two teams in the points table, the match between the Stars Women and Sixers women appears to be a mismatch. However, T20 is one such format where upsets happen in abundance. Although Stars haven't been at their best in the competition so far, they have nothing to lose and can be a dangerous team to face. Sydney Sixers have been terrific in the whole season and have lost only three games. Melbourne Stars are well and truly capable of causing an upset, but considering the form the Sixers are in, it's going to be an uphill task and the Sixers certainly are firm favorites to win the final fixture of the league stage.
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