Adelaide holds nerve to Strike out Heat and go back to back in WBBL

ADELAIDE Strikers are back-to-back WBBL champions, after downing the Brisbane Heat by three runs in an entertaining decider tonight. After only putting a small total on the board, a strong bowling performance from the Strikers helped them claim a second title in as many seasons.

The Strikers batted first, and after making an okay start to their innings disaster struck early in the second over when Katie Mack was bowled by Nicola Hancock and the Heat drew first blood early.

However once Tahlia McGrath and then Laura Wolvaardt started to find the boundaries, things started to flow well for the Strikers despite the Heat really trying to mix up the bowling a bit. Wolvaardt and McGrath really started to settle into the innings and were really bringing up the run rate.

The Heat were their own worst enemy at times, with some poor fielding proving very costly. It took a return from Hancock in the 10th over for the Heat to finally pick up another wicket, bowling McGrath to finally bring some joy to the Heat.

Jess Jonassen finally joined the wicket taking in the 15th over to remove Laura Wolvaardt, and things were starting to slow down for the Strikers. It did not take long into the Power Surge for another wicket to fall, and it started to swing in the Heat’s favour.

Brisbane Heat’s fielding continued to improve, and as a result the wickets continued to fall, and after the Strikers looked like they were going to post a big score, it was starting to looking like they were not going to even make the equivalent of one run per ball.

The Strikers ultimately made 5/125 from their 20 overs, which was a far cry from the 170ish they were forecasted to make earlier in the innings. Wolvaardt was ultimately their top scorer with 49, while McGrath made 38.

Meanwhile for the Heat, Hancock was the star with ball in hand, picking up three wickets.

The Heat made a much better start to their batting innings than the Strikers did, finding the boundary in the opening over. Grace Harris in particular was getting creative nice and early, which was resulting in plenty of boundaries and a high run rate for the visitors.

Harris and Georgia Redmayne really started to get settled into their innings, and although the Strikers had their chances to break up the partnership they were not taken.

The partnership was finally broken in the sixth over when Harris skied one deep and was caught out. Once Harris did fall the run rate slowed a little for the Heat. Wicket number two fell in the eighth over when Redmayne was also caught, and there was a little whiff of life breathed into the game.

Slowly but surely Amelia Kerr and Mignon du Preez were ticking over the scoreboard, but du Preez then fell in the 13th over and the situation was becoming precarious. Laura Harris fell the very next ball and McGrath was on a hattrick as the momentum swung towards the reigning champions.

With five overs to go, the Heat were only going at 5.4 but runs per over but they needed to be going at nine. Kerr was trying her hardest to get the Heat over the line and found a willing partner in Charli Knott, but time was running out quickly for the Heat to reach the target.

Knott then fell halfway through the 17th over and the hosts were on the cusp of putting one hand on the trophy. The wickets did not stop tumbling, and as such, so did the Heat’s grip on the game.

However, the Heat still had Kerr at the crease, who helped ensure the Heat needed 13 off the final over.

Unfortunately for the Heat, Amanda-Jade Wellington claimed two wickets and only conceded nine runs to help the Strikers take the win in an action packed final over. Kerr ultimately was the top scorer with 30, while Redmayne made 22.

Meanwhile for the Strikers, Wellington finished with three wickets in a stellar performance with ball in hand, while Megan Schutt and McGrath both picked up two wickets each.

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