We are all set for the playoff stage of the sixth season of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). After 56 matches in the league phase which concluded on Sunday, Melbourne Stars emerged as the table-toppers with 19 points.
The playoffs will consist of two knockout matches followed by the final. Melbourne Stars will take on the fourth-placed Perth Scorchers in the first match on 25th November. This will be followed by a second elimination match on 26th November between Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder.
The winners of the playoff matches will meet on Saturday and vie for the WBBL trophy at the North Sydney Oval.
Let us take this opportunity to have a look at one bowler from each side who will play a key role in the playoffs.
One batter from each WBBL side to look out for in the playoffs
Natalie Sciver (Melbourne Stars)
The English medium pacer has been on a wicket-taking spree during the current season of WBBL. Natalie Sciver has managed to pick wickets in every game she has bowled in. With 18 wickets in the season, she is the joint highest wicket-taker along with Sarah Coyte of Adelaide Strikers and Sammy-Jo Johnson of Sydney Thunder.
Sciver’s best outing of the season came against Adelaide Strikers when she picked up 4 wickets while giving away 29 runs. She finished with figures of 2 for 23 in four overs when the Stars came up against their playoff opponents Perth Scorchers in the league stage.
Natalie Sciver has also contributed with the bat for the Stars in this WBBL, aggregating 194 runs from 11 innings, which includes three thirty-plus scores.
Sammy-Jo Johnson (Sydney Thunder)
After playing the first five season of the WBBL with Brisbane Heat, Sammy-Jo Johnson moved to Sydney Thunder this season and has made an immediate impact for her new franchise. She has been a touch expensive, going over 7 runs an over, but has picked up 18 wickets in 14 matches.
Johnson is coming into the playoffs in brilliant form. She picked up seven wickets in the last three outings including two three-wicket hauls against Sydney Sixers and Adelaide Strikers.
The 28-year-old picked up one wicket each when Thunder and Heat faced each other in the league stage of the WBBL. Johnson will once be playing against the team she belonged to in the previous five years in the playoffs and that could be act as a motivation for her to go the extra yard.
Amelia Kerr (Brisbane Heat)
The WBBL season did not start off quite well for the Kiwi wrist-spinner, with her taking just a solitary wicket from the first five outings. The three-wicket haul in the match against Melbourne Stars turned around her fortunes.
Amelia Kerr picked up four wickets in her next match against Sydney Thunder, which has been her best outing in the season so far. She has picked up wickets in every match since then and currently has 16 wickets in the season. Her economy rate is also one of the best in the tournament at just 5.37 per over.
The pair of Amelia Kerr and Jess Jonassen has been vital for the success of Brisbane Heat so far in this season of the WBBL. If she can keep performing to this level against Thunder in the playoffs, the opponents will certainly have a huge challenge ahead of them.
Sarah Glenn (Perth Scorchers)
If Brisbane Heat have been bowling heavy this season, Perth Scorchers have been batting heavy. Among the bowlers, the English wrist-spinner Sarah Glenn has been the standout performer for them.
Sarah Glenn started the tournament in a subdued fashion but warmed up to the task as the tournament progressed. She has 16 wickets against her name of which 10 were picked up in the last four games. This includes two four-wicket hauls, one against Brisbane Heat and the other against Adelaide Strikers.
Her first season at the WBBL has gone on well so far for the young leg-spinner. She would certainly look to sign off the season with plenty more good work for her franchise in the playoffs.