#KiwiWBBL05: Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine Still The Best


Aotearoa's contribution to Women's Big Bash League 05 started out with some nifty performances from the younger wahine, now the most recent action has seen some of the veterans settle into their craft. There is another round of games this weekend and I'm especially intrigued by the Sydney Sixers vs Brisbane Heat game on Saturday, as well as Adelaide Strikers two games over the weekend; vs Perth Scorchers on Saturday and vs Melbourne Stars on Sunday.

Brisbane Heat have the two youngest White Ferns in WBBL05 and currently sit in 4th on the ladder, while Sixers are 3rd with a game in hand. Maddy Green and Amelia Kerr started WBBL05 with a sizzle as Green rolled out scores of 21, 13 and 34 which gave me hope about her flipping her weird White Ferns form around with a different opportunity, while Kerr took 3w in her first game and had everyone buzzing about her performance.

Since that first game, Kerr went without a wicket in her next three games before taking a wicket in each of her last two games. All up, Kerr has 5w @ 25avg/5.59rpo and to say her impact has plateaued would be a bit of an under-statement. Green has put up scores of 1 and 5 in her most recent innings, to average 14.80 with a strike-rate of 96.10. Unfortunately, based on what we have seen from Green on the international stage, this is kinda the status-quo for her and although Kerr does have serious talent, it hasn't been smooth sailing in establishing herself as an international weapon.

Saturday's game vs Sixers is a battle to stay in the top-four mix for the Heat and this is conveniently, the same opposition that Kerr dismantled in the first game - as well as a solid 21 @ 150sr from Green. Brisbane only have one player in the top-10 for runs and wickets, meaning that they need greater contributions from across their team to be a factor and WBBL05 and this presents an opportunity for Kerr and Green to step up.

Adelaide sit in 2nd and they face the two worst teams so far over the weekend. That's a great spot to be in, then factor in how Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine have found form in recent games and there could be an explosion of runs and/or wickets from either of the White Ferns legends. Bates started slowly with scores of 2, 24 and 6 before racking up scores of 8, 55* and 27 and she always took 2w vs Perth in their last outing.

Devine's been in form throughout the tournament to be fair, scoring 72* and 48 in her first two games before 6, 0 and 1 in a minor dip. Last weekend Devine put up 65 on Sunday, which has Devine sitting 5th in run-scoring (38.40avg/134.26sr) and Devine's also 6th in wickets with 7w @ 20avg/6.66rpo; Devine has taken a wicket in five of her six games.

Rachel Priest's Sydney Thunder are 1st and Priest has scores of 1, 31, 15, 45 and 50 thus far to average 28.40/137.86sr. This could improve as Thunder face Scorchers twice this round - Sunday and Tuesday - and Scorchers have just one bowler in the top-20 for wickets, which could present Priest with an opportunity to jack some runs up.

Melbourne Stars are last (8th) and Katey Martin's 31 in her most recent game takes her up to 47 runs @ 9.40avg. Not much doing there with the Stars struggling, while Melbourne Renegades are 6th and Lea Tahuhu is in a similar position to Martin, but with the ball as she has 4w @ 33avg/6rpo. Martin and Tahuhu are the only kiwis not in the top-four, so there is generally a lovely vibe permeating from WBBL05 and there is a possibility that the kiwis could hit a nek level, especially if Green and Kerr can find some form.

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Peace and love 27.