The knockout games of the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) are all set to commence from tomorrow, where the Melbourne Stars will be up against the Perth Scorchers in the first semi-finals of the competition at the North Sydney Oval.
The Stars, led by Meg Lanning, have been the most consistent team in WBBL 2020, with eight wins in their 14 league games.
The Scorchers, on the other hand, have been fairly inconsistent in their WBBL 2020 campaign and have been heavily reliant on their opening combination of Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine.
Three players to watch out for in the WBBL 2020 semi-final between Melbourne Stars and Perth Scorchers
In this season of the WBBL, the Melbourne Stars have clearly dominated the Perth Scorchers by registering two comfortable wins in the league phase of the competition. However, the knockout game will provide both teams an ideal opportunity to perform well and storm their way to their maiden WBBL final.
On that note, let's take a look at the top three players battles that could decide this exciting WBBL 2020 contest:
#1 Meg Lanning (Melbourne Stars) vs Sarah Glenn (Perth Scorchers)
One of the most elegant batters in the women's game, Meg Lanning has been in sublime form throughout the WBBL 2020 campaign, amassing 458 runs in 13 league matches.
The skipper of the Melbourne Stars is one of the key players in her side as they bid to reach their maiden final in the WBBL. With the right-handed batter preferring the ball coming on to the bat in the initial part of her innings, it will be interesting to see the strategy deployed by the Scorchers against her.
The Girls in Orange have one of the most exciting leg-spinners in their ranks in Sarah Glenn. The England international has been outstanding in this edition of the WBBL, picking up four wickets for 18 runs in the last league match against the Adelaide Strikers.
The 21-year-old has the ability to bowl with the new ball. Her subtle variations could prove to be handy in the Scorchers' attempts to counter Meg Lanning, who is in incredible form with the bat.
#2 Beth Mooney (Perth Scorchers) vs Natalie Sciver (Melbourne Stars)
Beth Mooney, the leading run-scorer in the WBBL 2020, will be up against the English duo of Natalie Sciver and Katherine Brunt.
The experienced duo has been assigned the responsibility of bowling with the new ball and will look to create an immediate impact in this all-important game. Sciver is the leading wicket-taker in WBBL 2020, with 18 wickets in 12 games at an economy rate below seven runs pers over.
The 28-year-old has developed her bowling by leaps and bounds in the past couple of seasons and has emerged as a genuine allrounder for the England side.
Her ability to bowl a tight line and length could help the Stars build pressure on the Perth Scorchers opening combination of Mooney and skipper Sophie Devine. If the Stars manage to frustrate the left-hander and give her very little room to free her arms, it could help them make inroads into the brittle Scorchers middle order.
#3 Sophie Devine (Perth Scorchers) vs Sophie Day (Melbourne Stars)
As has already been mentioned earlier, the Perth Scorchers have been heavily dependent on their formidable opening combination of Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney in WBBL 2020.
The duo has managed to shoulder the bulk of the responsibility for the side in the batting department. However, one of the major chinks in the armour of the Scorchers is the lack of runs from their middle order. Their international stars, Amy Jones and Nicole Bolton, have not enjoyed a great run in the WBBL this season, and that has put the Scorchers openers under tremendous pressure.
The Stars have a quality left-arm spinner in Sophie Day who could unsettle the Scorchers openers. With the ball turning away from the hard-hitting Devine, it could be difficult for her to time the ball and get full value for her shots.
The 22-year-old spinner has been one of the finds of the WBBL 2020 tournament and has enjoyed a fairly good run against the Scorchers; she picked up three for 16 in the last game between the sides.