The big picture
The stakes are clearly high as the eighth edition of the WBBL concludes on Saturday at North Sydney Oval.
The Sydney Sixers are looking to reclaim their status as a WBBL powerhouse, while the Adelaide Strikers are looking for redemption after a heartbreaking loss to the Perth Scorchers in last year’s decider.
The Sixers dominated the early years of the competition and featured in the first four finals, including back-to-back titles in the second and third editions. But they haven’t won since the victory against the Scorchers in February 2018 and suffered a wooden spoon shock last season.
After an impressive bounce back, the Sixers will start favorites against the Strikers after a dominant regular season, where they topped 11 wins to automatically qualify for the finals.
Standing in their way is a side looking for their first title. He will be out to put the ghosts of their defeat to the Scorchers to rest almost exactly 12 months ago to rest nine players from this match on Saturday.
Awarded the best attack in the tournament, the Strikers should be confident of beating the Sixers this season, albeit in the last clash between the teams a month ago.
A near-capacity crowd is expected at North Sydney Oval for a strong finish to the tournament.
(Last five complete matches; latest first)
Sydney Sixers WWW
Adelaide Strikers WWWL
In the spotlight
After becoming a WBBL player, Ashley Gardner Being declared as the best player of the country. His outstanding season included 339 runs at a strike rate of 153.39 and 23 wickets at 15.08 and his off-spin improved significantly. She has emerged as a world-class all-rounder and has re-signed with the Sixers for another three years. There is a lot of hype surrounding the 25-year-old and all eyes will be on Gardner on the big stage.
Sydney Sixers (probable): 1 Suzy Bates, 2 Alyssa Healy (WK), 3 Elise Perry (capt), 4 Ashley Gardner, 5 Erin Burns, 6 Nicole Bolton, 7 Sophie Ecclestone, 8 Kate Peterson, 9 Angelina Jenford, 10 Lauren Chettle , 11 Stella Campbell
Adelaide Strikers (Probable): 1 Katie Mack, 2 Laura Wollwardt (WK), 3 Tahlia McGrath (capt), 4 Deandra Dutton, 5 Bridget Peterson, 6 Madeleine Pena, 7 Tegan McFarlane (WK), 8 Amanda-Jade Wellington, 9 Gemma Barsby, 10 Megan Shutt, 11 Darcy Brown
Pitch and conditions
Sunny conditions are forecast in Sydney with a maximum temperature of 23 degrees to complement the picturesque North Sydney Oval. The pitch is generally batting friendly and the ground’s short boundaries and fast outfield should ensure a high-scoring contest.
Stats and Trivia
“I think given the density of the competition and how many games we’ve played in such a short amount of time, this week is a real advantage. I think everybody got a chance to work on something or work on what they needed to do. . It was also a great opportunity to spend some more time together.”
Alice Perry There is no concern after the break before the final.
“Losing a final is never easy. We were pretty disappointed last year and we used that hunger to drive us through the season. We’re going in there with no fear, to play our best cricket, and We want this trophy very badly.”
Tahlia McGrath Last season’s near miss on channeling
Tristan Lovelette is a journalist based in Perth.