Everything's steadily, gradually improving in WBBL04 for our kiwi wahine as there were far more solid contributions from the gang over the weekend. We're still lacking the pure dominance that has highlighted previous WBBL campaigns and the fact that Adelaide Strikers featuring Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine have won just 2 of 10 games is super stink, yet there is a steadiness across the board.
We start on Saturday where the game between Rachel Priest's Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Stars was rained off, after being shortened to a 10-over contest. The Thunder got through their 10 overs with Priest hitting 5 off 9, before the game being scratched. These two teams backed up on the Sunday and Priest appear to have hit a wee plateau with her run-scoring, putting up 12 off 13 as the Thunder hit 122/6 from their 20 overs.
The Stars responded with 117/9 from 20 overs, giving the Thunder the win. After a solid start to WBBL04, Priest now has scores of 0, 4, 5 and 12 in her last 4inns and this has seen her average drop down to 22.81, while maintaining a decent strike-rate of 133.51.
Adelaide Strikers were in action on Saturday and suffered defeat at the hands of Brisbane Heat, despite handy contributions from their kiwi duo. Devine took 2w @ 7.50rpo in 2ov as the Heat put up 160/7 in 20 overs and then Devine hit 39 off 37, alongside Bates' 31 off 29 to take the Strikers to 75 runs.
In the 11th over, Devine and Bates were both dismissed though and there isn't a whole lot of substance in this Strikers batting group outside of the kiwis; stranded on 117/7. That means that the Strikers went from 75/1 in the 11th over to 117/7 after 20 overs and considering that Bates (318r @ 39.75avg/114.80sr) and Devine (350r @ 38.88avg/131.57sr) are the only Strikers wiht 150+ runs in 10 games, none of this is all that surprising.
Hayley Jensen made her return to the Perth Scorchers line up, her first WBBL04 game of 2019 (since Dec 18) in a loss to Sara McGlashan's Sydney Sixers. The Sixers put up 183/2 in 20 overs, with McGlashan not required to bat and this means a tough innings for Jensen who bowled 4ov @ 9rpo. Jensen then hit 8 off 7 as the Scorchers were all out for 151 and the Sixers snared another win.
The last game from the weekend saw Melbourne Renegades get a win over Brisbane Heat. Amy Satterthwaite helped the Renegades kick on from a great start (95/1) with 23 off 22 as the Renegades reached 143/3 from their 20 overs.
This was then the Lea Tahuhu show as she took 3w @ 3.25rpo, taking the first 3w of the innings. Tahuhu knocked the top of the Heat's batting line up, with wickets in the 2nd, 4th and 10th overs, also rolling out a maiden for good measure. Tahuhu now has 11w @ 21.18avg/6.75rpo and after a lean patch of 3inns without a wicket, Tahuhu has taken 1w, 2w, 3w in her last 3inns.
Satterthwaite is also finding a nice level of performance as she has scored 20+ in 7 of her last 8inns. This has coincided with the Renegades sneaking up the ladder and they currently sit in 4th on 13 points, a whisker behind Brisbane Heat in 3rd on 14 points.
The two Sydney teams are 1st and 2nd, meaning that McGlashan and Priest are pretty much locked in for finals cricket and the team to watch closely now is the Renegades. Satterthwaite's not churning out massive knocks, but she's consistently contributing and if Tahuhu can maintain some consistency, they'll be an intriguing team to follow as WBBL04 hits its climax.
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Peace and love 27.