Sunday, 6 January 2019

WBBL04 - Sixers & Thunder make semis

After the penultimate weekend of WBBL04 games the two Sydney franchises - Sixers and Thunder - can start to plan for semi-final action, as they have now qualified.

This weekend's results were :-

Thunder 92/3 v Stars when match was abandoned
Heat 160/7 beat Strikers 117/7
Sixers 183/2 beat Scorchers 151ao
Thunder 122/6 beat Stars 117/9
Renegades 143/3 beat Heat 118ao

Which means that this is how the ladder looks right now...
WBBL04 - 6th January 2018
The fight for the other two semi-final places is effectively between Heat, Renegades and Scorchers (technically Stars could still make it if they won their last two games, and Renegades and Scorchers both lost all theirs, but even then it would come down to NRR).

Heat have two games to play against Stars and Thunder.
Renegades have three games to play against Thunder, Hurricanes and Sixers.
Scorchers have two games to play, both against Strikers. If Scorchers can win both their games then Heat and Renegades will have to notch up two wins of their own to stop them from qualifying.

The order in which the games are played could prove to be vital. On Tuesday Renegades play Thunder. Should they win, and it will be a tough ask, then they will pour the pressure onto Heat, who play Stars on Thursday. A win for Heat would in turn add to the pressure on Scorchers. All Scorchers can do this week is sit back and watch, as they do not play their first game against Strikers, in Alice Springs, until Saturday. Strikers will already have played Hurricanes twice earlier in the week, and with the pressure off, and with Scorchers almost certainly without Elyse Villani and Nicole Bolton again for both games, the two wins Scorchers will probably need, could prove elusive, but Strikers will have had to play four games in six days.

The team that finishes top will host the two semi-finals, so Sixers and Thunder will be looking to win their last two games. Sixers take on Renegades and then Stars next weekend; while Thunder have Renegades and Heat to round off their league season. Thunder however will be without Harmanpreet Kaur for that final game against Heat, as she is required to return to India.

The final few games to be played are :-
Tuesday
Thunder v Renegades
Strikers v Hurricanes
Wednesday
Strikers v Hurricanes again
Thursday
Heat v Stars
Saturday
Strikers v Scorchers
Renegades v Hurricanes
Heat v Thunder
Sunday
Scorchers v Strikers
Renegades v Sixers
Monday
Stars v Sixers

MD
06/I/19

1 comment:

  1. Looking back at some of the recent matches, I though Thunder were slightly fortunate to win earlier - after a largely unconvincing batting display, they let Stars approach very close to their target. Renegades were excellent though, and beat a strong and determined Heat side quite comfortably in the end. This was a match where we saw just how in women's cricket 2 good fast bowlers can do it all - get wickets and keep the runs down. Both Tahuhu and Maitlan Brown (a mini-version of Ellyse Perry if ever I saw one) were excellent and looked like real bowling assets - just the type of thing we need to see to encourage more fast bowlers to come through.

    As far as qualification goes, I agree that Scorchers look like they might struggle to qualify now. Stars and down the table are effectively out of contention, but all sides can still influence events by winning their remaining respective matches which could throw off their opponent's plans! If Heat can recover from their jarring loss earlier, and pick up a win against Stars, I have a feeling the table might not change much from the current order.

    Renegades have 3 quite tricky games left and might only win one, but I still think that could be enough to keep them fourth. I can't see a depleted Scorchers side beating Strikers twice, away, even with an in-form Lanning. Having said that, Strikers have been a real let-down I'm afraid and their batting has folded far too easily on many occasions. I feel they will pick up a win or two though from a final 4 home matches against 'Canes and Scorchers. The bottom-of the table clashes with 'Canes in particular should be interesting.

    Bates and Devine are still two of the best T20 players around, but for all their skill and individual performances, and the records they have set, neither of them have been involved in winning teams very often at all recently, be it WBBL, KSL or for NZ. That doesn't make for pretty reading for T20 franchise teams looking to recruit them.

    The semis will be enthralling - if it is to be Heat and 'Gades involved, we have 2 exciting and dynamic sides that are very capable of causing an upset on their day. Sixers and Thunder will need to be at their best to progress.

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