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Naming a team of the tournament always results in unlucky people missing out, and when I was planning on this WBBL team of the tournament, I already had more names in my head than needed.
To cut it down was difficult, so I’ve included a few unlucky players to form a squad of 16.
1. Meg Lanning (Stars)
Arguably one of Australia’s greatest female cricket players, Meg Lanning has dominated the WBBL in both seasons, with WBBL02 a runfest for the Southern Stars captain.
The Belinda Clark medallist and Neighbours guest star amassed 560 runs for the tournament and was a clear leader.
Lanning, who missed just one match, only failed to reach double figures twice in the tournament.
2. Alyssa Healy (Sixers)
Picking a second opening batter was hard enough across the comp, let alone deciding the better of the two Sixers’ openers.
One of the most powerful batters in women’s cricket, Alyssa Healy fired for the Sixers when they needed her the most, in the finals. Scoring just under 200 runs in her last three innings, Healy led the Sydney side to their maiden WBBL title.
Although Healy had a lower average across the comp, her last three innings stole the show, including 77 against the Hobart Hurricanes and a much-needed 40 in the final.
3. Beth Mooney (Heat)
The shadow keeper to Alyssa Healy in the side, Beth Mooney has put that fact past herself when it comes to the national side.
In WBBL02, Mooney again showed why she is one of Australia’s most exciting cricketers, finishing second on the runs scorers list. Mooney was instrumental in getting her side to the semis, with four scores over 50 and one of 34 in her last ten matches.
Mooney hit five 50s for the tournament, equal to Lanning and Ellyse Villani.
4. Elyse Villani (Scorchers)
Another Australian star and opener, Ellyse Villani has had to drop to No.4 in the side because of the quality availaibe.
Finishing at fourth in the highest-scorers’ list, Villani was at times hit-and-miss, but if she fired, the Scorchers were well on their way to victory.
She also made a handy contribution with the ball, which included taking 3-16 against the Thunder in the final regular season match.
Best bowling: 3-16
5. Alex Blackwell (Thunder)
One of the hardest-working players in Australian cricket, male or female, Alex Blackwell is always there and never gets the plaudits she deserves for her consistency.
Finishing sixth on the run-scorers list, with 386, although the Thunder captain only hit the single half-century, her consistency was crucial for the Thunder.
6. Harmanpreet Kaur (Thunder)
The first Indian player to feature in either the BBL or WBBL, Kaur set the tournament alight at North Sydney Oval when she almost stole victory for the Thunder in their opening match, hitting 47 off just 28 deliveries.
Kaur anchored the innings late for the Thunder throughout the season, and was consistent with the ball as well, picking up six wickets for the tournament.
Best bowling: 4-27
7. Marizanne Kapp (Sixers)
The spearhead of the Sixers attack, South African all-rounder Marizanne Kapp had to be in this side for her powerplay bowling efforts, as well as being an important contributor with the bat (being my favourite player helps too).
Despite missing four matches due to South Africa’s series in Bangladesh, Kapp picked up 13 wickets and although down on last season, the Sixers’ strike bowler kept the opposition runs to a minimum with an economy rate of just 5.06.
Although Kapp’s strength is her bowling, she is no mug with the bat, amassing 136 runs, which included 36 in the semi-final and an even more important 34 in the final.
Best bowling: 2-13
8. Katherine Brunt (Scorchers)
One of the many English imports, Katherine Brunt’s pace and swing made her one of the most fearsome bowlers in the competition. Although picking up just ten wickets, Brunt was as economical as any bowler, at just 5.55 per over.
Best known for her bowling, Brunt is handy enough with the blade, as she almost pulled off victory for the Scorchers in the final. Brunt scored 216 runs for the tournament, which included a top score of 41 and eight sixes across the tournament.
Best bowling: 2-14
9. Sophie Molineux (Renegades)
One of the many starring teenagers, Sophie Molineux was an important figure in WBBL02 for the Melbourne Renegades. Hitting 256 runs and picking up eight wickets for the tournament, Molineux cemented her spot as one of the next-generation stars of Australian cricket. A genuine all-rounder Molineux bowled the Renegades to victory against the Strikers when she took 4/18 restricting a fired up Strikers outfit.
WBBL02 STATS: Runs: 256, Average: 23.27. S/R: 99.61; WICKETS: 8; BBI: 4/18
10. Sarah Aley (Sixers)
The leading wicket taker of this year’s tournament and the leading wicket taker so far in the WBBL, Sarah Aley’s 28 wickets, which included a remarkable 4-23 in the WBBL02 final to secure victory for the Sixers, meant she demanded selection. She also made headlines for one of the most amazing caught and bowled efforts seen.
Aley’s bowling strike rate for the tournament was just 12.3 at an average of 11.75.
Batting-wise Aley was thankfully not required that often for the Sixers, however she managed to hit two 4s in the final over at the SCG for the Sixers to score a regular-season victory over the Scorchers.
Best bowling: 4-23
11. Julie Hunter (Hurricanes)
The veteran of the WBBL02, it would be remiss of me to not include Julie Hunter.
Although she wasn’t their leading wicket taker, Hunter was one of the most important players in the Hurricanes, picking up 13 wickets for the season as well as being their only bowler to have an economy rate of under six.
Hunter, who announced her retirement recently, also took one of the catches of the WBBL, in the semi-final against the Sixers.
Best bolwing: 3-19
The unlucky ones
• Ash Gardner (Sixers)
• Emma King (Scorchers)
• Nicole Bolton (Scorchers)
• Hayley Matthews (Hurricanes)
• Molly Strano (Renegades)
So that’s my team, and a big thanks to the amazing Mary Konstantopoulos from Ladies Who League for helping me build it throughout the season.
Would love to hear your thoughts and who’d you have in the team.