Friday, 28 December 2018

WBBL04 - The Christmas to New Year Run

On Christmas Eve we left the WBBL04 ladder looking like this

Since then there have been three more games, which have gone like this :-

Renegades 110/8 lost to Sixers 111/3
Scorchers 136/5 lost to Heat 139/5
Sixers 206/1 beat Strikers 132 ao

Which means the table now looks like this

Sixers two wins have put them back to the top of the league, with Alyssa Healy having great fun at the expense of both Renegades and Strikers. She hit an unbeaten 70 as Sixers chased down Renegades below par 110/8 in just 14.1 overs, and then thrashed her second WBBL century, hitting 112* off the beleaguered Strikers attack as Sixers posted the second highest score in WBBL history - 206/1.

In between those two games Scorchers failed to build on Meg Lanning's 70, finishing on a disappointing 136/5, which Heat surpassed, without too many alarms, albeit in the 20th over. It means Heat have now won 5/8 and are looking good for a semi-final spot. Scorchers sit precariously poised on 4/9.

We reckon that 15/16 points will be enough to make sure of a spot in those semis, which puts Sixers just one win away from that goal, Thunder two wins and Heat three. With Heat having two games to play against bottom of the table Hurricanes before New Year they look in good shape.

Games coming up in the next couple of days are :-
Scorchers take on Thunder twice in Perth.
Renegades v Stars
Hurricanes entertain Heat twice at the University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston, and there is a
Strikers v Sixers rematch, but at the Adelaide Oval, rather than at the postage stamp that is Hurstville Oval.

Thunder will be looking to leapfrog Sixers back to the top of the ladder, with two wins in Perth effectively securing their passage to the semis, and possibly ending Scorchers chances of making the next stage of the competition. If Scorchers were to lose both games they would then be 4/11, with just three games to play - Strikers twice, and Sixers.

Heat could take a massive step towards the semis with two wins over Canes, which you would have to say they should achieve. Canes season is a write-off. Despite some close games, they have simply been unable to defend any total their batting line-up have managed to put on the board.

Both Renegades and Stars will know that they have to win their match to stay in with a shout of the semis. Renegades only have 5 points to Stars 8, but they have played a game less. A win keeps them in with a squeak, and they play Stars again on New Year's Day. Should they win that one too, then they will be above Stars. As for Stars a win will keep them hustling for that third/fourth spot with Heat and Scorchers.

After Stars, Renegades remaining fixtures are - Stars (again), Hurricanes twice, Heat, Thunder and Sixers. But Stars have a tougher run in to the finish line, they play - Renegades (again), Thunder twice, Heat and Sixers. The outcome of the two clashes between Gades v Stars in the next few days could define their seasons.

WBBL04 is getting to the business end of things.

Martin Davies

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