Maitlan Brown could make a surprise return for the Sydney Sixers in the Weber WBBL|08 final, named in their 15-player squad for the blockbuster showdown with the Adelaide Strikers at North Sydney Oval.
Brown has not played since November 5 due to a back complaint, missing the Sixers’ final six regular season games.
The club will have added incentive to claim their first WBBL title, after former Aussie opener Nicole Bolton announced Saturday’s game would be her final professional match.
Bolton, who played 55 matches for Australia and who called time on her state career before the last of the 21-22 season, has spent the last two seasons in magenta after six years as a Perth Scorcher.
Meanwhile the Strikers are expected to have a full-strength squad to select from as they look to win their first WBBL title.
The Strikers have made it to the final twice previously but fallen just short, against the Heat in WBBL|05 and again against the Scorchers last season.
When is it?
Saturday Nov 26 at 5.20pm AEDT
How can I watch?
The Final will be broadcast on free-to-air television on 7Mate, while Fox Cricket will simulcast the match, which can also be streamed via Kayo on the Cricket Australia Live app. For those who like their cricket served up on the radio, ABC Grandstand will cater to all your listening needs.
Cricket.com.au and the CA Live app will have live scores and highlights of EVERY major moment, as well as replays of every wicket and every boundary in the match centre, plus web, video and social coverage.
How can I be there?
Tickets are selling FAST and the game is expected to sell out, so don’t hesitate – grab your tickets now! Buy them HERE.
Sydney Sixers: Ellyse Perry (c), Ashleigh Gardner (vc), Jade Allen, Suzie Bates, Nicole Bolton, Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Sophie Ecclestone, Angie Genford, Alyssa Healy, Kate Peterson, Hannah Trethewy.
Adelaide Strikers (from): Tahlia McGrath (c), Jemma Barsby, Darcie Brown, Meagan Dixon, Deandra Dottin, Katie Mack, Tegan McPharlin (wk), Anesu Mushangwe, Annie O’Neil, Bridget Patterson, Madeline Penna, Megan Schutt, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Ella Wilson, Laura Wolvaardt
Form (most recent first)
Sydney Sixers: WWWWW no. LWWWLWWW
Adelaide Strikers: WWWL no. LWWLWWWWLL
Head-to-head at WBBL|08
Ellyse Perry and Suzie Bates starred with the bat for the Sixers before a dominant display from Sophie Ecclestone secured a 17-run win over the Strikers in Mackay during the opening weekend of WBBL|08.
Bates top-scored with an unbeaten 82, while Perry hit 58 – her second half-century in as many innings this season – to lift the Sixers to 2-151.
Ecclestone’s 4-17 helped restrict the Strikers to 9-134, maintaining the Sydney club’s perfect start to Weber WBBL|08.
In their second clash on October 21, Erin Burns’ blazing 71 not out was not enough for a miracle, as the Strikers held their nerve to seal a thrilling three-run win.
In a game that seenawed throughout, the Strikers recovered from 6-83 in the 16th over to post a decent total of 6-142, thanks to the late efforts of Maddie Penna (35no off 25) and Tegan McPharlin (21no off 11).
The Sixers were then all-but out of the match at 6-102 after 17 overs, needing 41 runs off the last 18 balls to secure victory. But Burns’ late blitz, which saw her hammer 71 no off just 38 balls, put victory back within reach.
With 20 runs needed off the last over, Burns smacked a six, was dropped, then cleared the boundary again. A full toss with four needed from two balls offered Burns a chance to ice victory, but the allrounder mistimed his shot, and was caught at long off.
Needing a boundary off the last ball, tailender Angelina Genford was stumped and the Strikers sealed their first win of the season.
Leading run scorers
Sydney Sixers: Ellyse Perry (375 runs at 41.66, SR 121.35), Alyssa Healy (329 at 27.41, SR 127.51)
Adelaide Strikers: Laura Wolvaardt (388 runs at 27.71, SR 106.59), Katie Mack (319 at 22.78, SR 107.77)
Leading wicket takers
Sydney Sixers: Ashleigh Gardner (23 wickets at 15.08, eco 6.42), Sophie Ecclestone (18 wickets at 18.83, eco 6.41)
Adelaide Strikers: Megan Schutt (26 wickets at 12.61, eco 6.41), Amanda-Jade Wellington (22 wickets at 15.72, eco 6.67)
Strengths and weaknesses
To be perfectly honest, it is tough to find a weakness in this Sixers’ side this season. They have only lost two matches – although one of those was to the Strikers – and have players dominating the tournament with both bat and ball. Ellyse Perry is scoring plenty of runs at a decent clip, as is Ashleigh Gardner, while Erin Burns has enjoyed a career-best season striking at 157 in the middle-order.
But part of the batting that has not fired though is Alyssa Healy and Suzie Bates as an opening pair, who by all accounts are vibing off the field, but have only put on one 50-plus partnership, an epic 151 against the Renegades in Ballarat . Their next highest stands are 47, 15, 14, 8, 7 and 7.
With the ball, Gardner is in the form of her career with her off-spin, delivering in all phases, and has formed a very useful spin combo with Sophie Ecclestone and Lauren Cheatle has relished an injury free season to be their leading quick.
The injury to Maitlan Brown was a blow, but unheralded teenager Kate Peterson has stepped up in her place in her last three matches, picking up 11 wickets. Stella Campbell is struggling for confidence and has bowled just two overs for the season and overall, the Strikers probably have the edge in the bowling department.
The Strikers’ star-studded bowling attack has been their major strength this season and has helped them defend lower totals when the batting hasn’t fired.
Megan Schutt and Amanda-Jade Wellington are in excellent form, Darcie Brown continues to terrify with her raw pace – 49 per cent of her deliveries this season have been dot balls – and Jemma Barsby has been making an impact with her ambidextrous spin.
Deandra Dottin added a new element to their attack this season and while Tahlia McGrath had a spell from bowling after missing two matches with a back complaint, she delivered two overs during The Challenger and is an option.
There is no shortage of talent in the batting group, but they have not shown their full potential throughout this season. Laura Wolvaardt is beginning to find her feet after a quiet start to the season and has now moved into the top five run scorers across the league, and Katie Mack has made numerous starts without going onto make a significant score.
Worrying has been the form of Tahlia McGrath; 93 of her 220 runs for the season came in one innings – but in good news, that innings was last Friday at North Sydney Oval, so she has form at the final venue. Bridget Patterson and Maddie Penna likewise stood up when it counted in The Challenger and will draw confidence from their match-winning stand.
The Eliminator: Brisbane Heat defeat Hobart Hurricanes by 44 runs
The Challengers: Adelaide Strikers defeat Brisbane Heat by six wickets
The Final: Sydney Sixers v Adelaide Strikers | North Sydney Oval | November 26 at 5.20pm AEDT
Grab your tickets or tune in on the Seven Network, Fox Cricket, Kayo or ABC radio
Tickets for Weber WBBL and KFC BBL games are on sale now. Get yours at cricket.com.au/big-bash