Sunday, 9 December 2018

WBBL04 - R2 Review

Here are the results from the second week of WBBL04 fixtures, which saw Sydney Sixers pick up two wins out of two to take them to the top of the ladder, but only on NRR.

Scorchers 167/9 lost to Sixers 171/4
Hurricanes 158/6 lost to Stars 159/5
Strikers 153/7 lost to Renegades 154/4
Scorchers 103/8 lost to Heat 104/3
ixers 168/4 beat Thunder 132/7
Hurricanes 196/6 beat Stars 124 ao
Renegades 83/4 (14.3) v Strikers 27/2 (4.3) - no result
Thunder 192/4 beat Heat 164 ao

With Sixers on four points are Sydney Thunder, who lost to Sixers, but then beat Heat; and Melbourne Stars, who won one and lost one against Hobart Hurricanes.
Strikers and Renegades have 3 points after Gades beat Strikers off the last ball on Saturday, and Sunday's return game was abandoned with just three balls needed for the game to have been completed.
The table is completed by Canes, who picked up their first win in their second encounter with the Stars; Heat, who beat the Scorchers and then lost to the Thunder; and the Scorchers themselves - all on 2 points - who got nothing from the weekend.

The weekend really belonged to Sixers, and to Ellyse Perry in particular. She scored her maiden T20 ton as Sixers easily chased down Scorchers 167/9 with just four wickets down on Friday night. Her 102* came off 59 balls, the last one of which she struck for 4 to win the game. Rested on Saturday Sixers came out again on Sunday against Thunder with Perry again at the fore, scoring 74*, as Sixers posted 168/4. For a while even Perry had to play second fiddle to Erin Burns, who was imperious in hitting 44 off 22 balls. Thunder's Rene Farrell slotted into second place on the most runs conceded list with 0/50 off her 4 overs. Thunder never really recovered from being 35/4 and despite Harmanpreet Kaur's 45, they finished 36 runs short.

After a late night on Friday Scorchers performed poorly with the bat against Heat in their Saturday outing, posting just 103/8 in their 20 overs, a total which they never looked like defending. They were without Meg Lanning for both games, who had a back twinge, but it is their bowling that continues to look thin.

Another team thin on bowling resources - Canes - contrived to lose to Stars on Saturday, despite scoring 158/6, courtesy of a fine 82* from Heather Knight. They had Stars 23/4 at the end of the powerplay, and still needing 100 from the last 10 overs, but some poor fielding allowed Erin Osborne (67) and Mignon du Preez (59*) the opportunity to set up a Star's win by five wickets. In the reverse fixture on Sunday Canes put a massive 196/6 (the third highest ever WBBL team score) with Smriti Mandhana top-scoring with a rather fortuitous 69. It was Stars' turn to look ordinary in the field, and they never looked like getting close in the run chase.

The best game of the weekend was the first encounter between Renegades v Strikers. Suzie Bates (54), Sophie Devine (39) and Tahlia McGrath (33) set up the Strikers' innings of 153/7, and when they removed Danni Wyatt, for a well-made 62, Gades were 92/4 and looked unlikely to get home. But Claire Koski (39*) and Erica Kershaw (30*) got the game to last over with eight still needed to win. Sophie Devine restricted them to four singles from the first five balls, but Koski stepped across her stumps and swept the last ball for 4 to win the game for the Gades. The return fixture the next day looked to be heading to an equally tight finish, before rain intervened for the second time with Strikers 27/2 after 4.3 overs, chasing 78 off 11 overs. The Strikers would have needed six more runs at the end of the 5th over to have won the game on DLS.

The final game of the weekend saw Thunder pile on 192/4 against Heat with the top five Thunder batsmen all enjoying themselves. Harmanpreet Kaur top-scored with 52 off 26 balls. Grace Harris muscled her way to 54 off 28 balls in reply including five 6s, but Heat still finished 28 runs short, bowled out in the 19th over.

Round 3 of WBBL04 is next weekend with seven more fixtures, including four being played in Hobert. The games are :-

Stars v Scorchers
Strikers v Thunder
Hurricanes v Sixers
Stars v Scorchers
Thunder v Strikers
Hurricanes v Sixers
Renegades v Heat

We'll preview all the games later in the week.

Martin Davies

1 comment:

  1. Great weekend for WBBL04! Perry looks unbeatable at the moment, in fact looks like the best T20 player around! Aside from her though, Sixers haven't really fired as much as I'd expected yet, and I feel that they might be vulnerable in the (seemingly unlikely) event that Pez has an off day.

    Scorchers have been largely disappointing, but the English players (Jones and Cross) have impressed. Apart from a bad day day in the field for Cross in one game. Perth will need to up their game soon though, they can't afford to be conceding so many runs with a few players looking a bit short of form.

    Heat maybe look set for another mercurial season - they can look very good at times but seem to struggle to string wins together. Too often an impressive win is followed by a disappointing loss. If they could overcome this perennial issue, they could do well.

    Stars have been a bit better than most suspected I think. They chased really well in the first 2 matches. However their bowling, fielding and catching has left a lot to be desired at times. Georgia Elwiss must be wondering what's gone wrong with the ball, she's conceded a lot of runs but actually not bowled badly. 0-43 could have been 3-25 in the last match. She had three easy chances dropped by Stars teammates and none caught. And whenever the ball has been hit near the boundary, a fielder seems to let it past. This is a much worse problem in the whole WBBL so far than lots of people complained about in the T20 tri-series in England earlier this year. Way worse. Stars' fielding and catching must improve quickly if they're to have a chance of finishing in the top half.

    Hurricanes have been blighted from time to time by bad bowling and fielding too. They look a solid side though, if a bit short on top bowling, as you suggest. Knight has been great with the bat and ball so far, but might have to bowl a few more overs than she's used to.

    Renegades I'm not so sure about - they could either be very good or finish near the bottom. If Satterthwaite can find form it would help their cause no end. They do have a pretty good squad though and a nice, balanced attack.

    Strikers - most people think can finish in the top four, I'm not quite so convinced that they will, but it's possible. Their squad is very strong. The problem seems to be that they are a bit inconsistent, like Heat. Bates had a good start but doesn't look as good to me as she did a year or two ago, although Devine is still up with the best. The middle order is vulnerable.

    Thunder will probably have too much for a lot of sides this season but they're not infallible. They have a strong all-round team though and are well-led, so I'd be surprised if they failed to finish in the play-off places.