Wellington weilds magic wand to eliminate Heat in WBBL07

Amanda-Jade Wellington © Getty Images

Magnificent bowling performance from Amanda-Jade Wellington followed by some clinical batting from the pair of Katie Mack and Tahlia McGrath helped Adelaide Strikers trump Brisbane Heat by eight wickets in the Eliminator of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday (November 24). They will face Melbourne Renegades in the Qualifier on Thursday.

Despite losing Georgia Redmayne to a trademark Darcie Brown bouncer and scoring only 25 runs in the first six over, Heat still had a chance to gain some control in the game. Grace Harris and Georgia Voll were in the middle, trying to rotate the strike in a spread-out field while picking up some occasional boundaries. But they had no idea what Wellington was about to do to their side.

After conceding a couple of singles in the first two deliveries of the seventh over, the leg-spinner tossed one up, tempting Harris to jump out of the crease and take her down for a six. The Heat allrounder fell for the bait and watched the ball dip and turn away from her on its way to Tegan McPharlin’s gloves. So sure of what’s going to happen, Harris walked off as McPharlin took off the bails.

The new batter Mikayla Hinkley was greeted with a short leg-break on the first ball she faced and she was happy to defend it. On the next, Wellington was back with a tossed-up delivery that drifted in, pitching on off-stump line before spinning away from Hinkley, who was no way near the pitch of the delivery while trying to drive the leg-spinner through the line. The ball took the outside edge and flew to the left of Dane van Niekerk at first slip, and the South African star held on to it with some swift movement.

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From 25 for one, Heat were down to 27 for three in the span of six deliveries. With skipper Jess Jonassen joining her, Voll went on the attack against van Niekerk, smashing back-to-back boundaries. However, thanks to the doubts implanted in the batters’ minds by Wellington, Jonassen tried to play safe against the leg-spinner. When the southpaw saw a shot-pitched delivery outside off-stump, she tried to pull only to play it onto the stumps.

Things got only worse as Laura Kimmince and Georgia Voll got off consecutive deliveries in the next over off Wellington. Anneke Bosch was dismissed by Brown for a run-a-ball four, leaving Heat at 54 for seven after 12 overs.

Nadine de Klerk saw through the final over of Wellington without any damage as the leg-spinner finished with five for eight from her four overs. With Nicola Hancock, de Klerk hung in there for a while before the former hit a six and a four off Tahlia McGrath.

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She followed it up with consecutive boundaries off Megan Schutt in the next over. The duo took Heat to 114 for eight in 20 overs. Hancock made 40 runs from 26 balls while de Klerk remained not out with a 15-ball 18.

Chasing a sub-par total, van Niekerk got out to Hancock early for 12 runs from 14 balls. Katie Mack and Laura Wolvaardt pressed the accelerator in the power play, with the latter picking up back-to-back boundaries off Hancock. Together, they added 31 runs from as many balls before Poonam Yadav trapped Wolvaardt in front of the wicket as the South African batter tried to play the leg-spinner off the backfoot.

Skipper McGrath, along with their top run-scorer for the season, Mack, kept the momentum going. She took Yadav out of the equation, hitting a six and four in the same over. They picked up occasional boundaries and kept rotating the strike, making sure the run rate did not creep up.

Strikers chased the total with ease in 16.3 overs as Mack finished on 50 runs from 42 balls. McGrath remained unbeaten 27-ball 38 at the other end.

Brief Scores: Brisbane Heat 114/8 in 20 overs (Nicola Hancock 40; Amanda-Jade Wellington 5/8) lost to Adelaide Strikers 118/2 in 16.3 overs (Katie Mack 50; Poonam Yadav 1/19) POTM: Amanda-Jade Wellington

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