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|Sammy Jo Johnson||4.0||0||12||1||3.00|
|Sammy Jo Johnson||33||26||2||2||126.92|
The 56 games of the WBBL regular season are over and we have the WBBL semi-final set. The first WBBL semi-final match is going to be played between the Sydney Thunder women and the Brisbane Heat women. These are two of the more power-packed batting teams in the WBBL and so we could have a very exciting match on our hands.
Interestingly, these two sides played their last group match against each other, a contest that the Brisbane Heat women won, and so know each other pretty well.
Sydney Thunder women are going to be without Harmanpreet Kaur for this match since she returns to India for international duty. The loss of one of the best T20 players in the world is a big one and is definitely going to test the reserves of the Sydney Thunder.
One of the hallmarks of Sydney Thunder in the WBBL this season has been its powerful batting lineup. The two standout players for them have been Rachael Haynes and Harmanpreet Kaur. Since Kaur is not going to be there, the responsibility on Haynes to play a big hand increased considerably.
Rachael Haynes is the highest runs scorer for Sydney Thunder in the WBBL with 376 runs to her name. She would have liked to be a bit more consistent but there is no doubting the role she has played in helping her team finish second after the end of league matches.
The gap left by Kaur’s absence is a big one but we think Sydney Thunder has some other players to call upon. Stafanie Taylor from the West Indies has been very good for Sydney Thunder in the limited opportunities she has got. She has the power, the experience, and the temperament to turn it on when the big matches come.
She is sure to move up one spot in the batting order and get more deliveries to face. Backing her to be the top scorer could be an excellent move.
The captain of Sydney Thunder, Rachel Priest has also hit form at just the right time. She played a brilliant inning against the Renegades a couple of matches ago and has been getting the Thunder off to a blazing start.
With Stalenberg, Blackwell, and Nicola Carey also in the side, Sydney Thunder is well equipped to deal with the loss of Harmanpreet Kaur.
Stafanie Taylor is also going to play a major role in the bowling department for Sydney Thunder. She has 18 wickets to her name and will lead the attack. Samantha Bates and Lisa Griffith will also be hoping to have a good game in the semi-final.
Rachael Haynes, Rachel Priest, Naomi Stalenberg, Alex Blackwell, Stafanie Taylor, Nicola Carey, Maisy Gibson, Lisa Griffith, Sam Bates, Rene Farrell, Belinda Vakarewa.
Brisbane Heat comes into the semi-final as perhaps the team that no one wants to face. They are an incredibly talented bunch of players that are also quite inconsistent. Players like Grace Harris, Beth Mooney, and Sammy Jo-Johnson can take the match away from you in a blink of the eye or collapse in a heap.
There is not too much that you can do to stop them either when they are in full flow.
Brisbane Heat won a very close match against Sydney Thunder in their last group match and will definitely come into this contest full of confidence. Beth Mooney scored a magnificent hundred in the last game but it is Grace Harris we are looking at to make the biggest impact in the semi-final.
Beth Mooney has score 407 runs in this competition and is one of the most consistent players for Brisbane Heat. She has scored at a strike rate of 126.01 this season and has hit three sixes in the entire season. Grace Harris hit six sixes during one inning alone and has scored 356 runs at a strike rate of 153.45.
The only other player to have scored more than a hundred runs at a strike rate approaching hers is Alyssa Healy.
Grace Harris just needs to give herself the first couple of deliveries to settle down and she can then take the attack to the opposition with ease.
The role of a strong middle order that comprises Sammy-Jo Johnson, Kirby Short, Jess Jonassen, and Laura Harris cannot be overlooked either. With a top-order that goes so hard, the middle order can often be the main scorer for the side if some early wickets fall.
Kimmince, Wolvaardt, and Sammy Jo-Johnson make for a decent bowling attack, one that we think is actually better than the Sydney Thunder by a smidge.
Grace Harris, Beth Mooney, Sammy Jo Johnson, Kirby Short, Jess Jonassen, Josie Dooley, Laura Harris, Laura Wolvaardt, Delissa Kimmince, Jemma Barsby, Haidee Birkett.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to bat first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The WBBL semi-final between Sydney Thunder women and Brisbane Heat women is going to be played at the Drummoyne Oval, Sydney. There is some rain forecast in Sydney during match day but hopefully, it stays clear during the time of actual play.
The pitch at the Drummoyne Oval is expected to be good for batting and should allow the strong batting order from both sides to express themselves. The last match between these two sides a high scoring one with 172 proved to be insufficient for victory. We could see another such contest this time around.
We think Sydney Thunder has the power in its batting to overcome a strong Brisbane Heat side. Home advantage should play a big role in Sydney Thunder getting over the line as well.
Back Sydney Thunder to win.
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