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Melbourne Stars Women
Sydney Thunder Women
The sixth edition of the WBBL comes to a close tonight when the Melbourne Stars take on the Sydney Thunder at North Sydney Oval. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:10pm (AEDT).
Like the rest of the sporting landscape at the moment, it’s been an unusual season of the WBBL. All the games have been in Sydney with the players living in a tight bubble at Sydney Olympic Park. On the back of the semi-finals though, we have a cracking final on our hands.
The Melbourne Stars had an underwhelming finish to the regular season, however, this was after their first spot finish was almost assured.
They don’t have any real weaknesses, with Meg Lanning and Elyse Villani strong at the top of the order, whilst English duo Natalie Sciver and Katherine Brunt are equally dangerous with the ball.
But it is some of their lesser lights that are now shining through. Young spinner Alana King took a liking to a turning North Sydney wicket, picking up 3/16 against the Scorchers in the semi-final.
Likewise, Annabel Sutherland had made her Australian debut but is still only 19 years old. After the early departures of Villani and Lanning, she and Sciver guided the Stars home in the semi-final with just under four overs to spare.
There is a depth in this Stars team that is probably unmatched across the competition.
They come up against a Sydney Thunder team who had a miracle win after taking their last six Heat wickets for only 12 runs.
Some great fielding from Tammy Beaumont and bowling under pressure from Hannah Darlington swung the game in the Thunder’s favour after Laura Kimmince’s 37 from 17 balls threatened to take the game away.
Earlier in the night, Rachael Haynes guided the Thunder to what turned out to be the winning total.
On the back of the momentum generated by this win, the Thunder will be difficult to beat in the final.
The Stars will go into the final as big favourites but, as the men’s team would confirm, that’s no guarantee of a win.
However, it is hard to see anything other than a Stars victory.
Stacked with Australian and international talent, their experience will prove too much.
Melbourne Stars by 30 runs or five wickets.
First ball: 7:10pm (AEDT)
Venue: North Sydney Oval
TV: 7, Foxtel
Live streaming: Kayo
Odds: Melbourne Stars $1.53, Sydney Thunder $2.50
Melbourne Stars XI
Meg Lanning (c), Elyse Villani, Mignon du Preez, Natalie Sciver, Annabel Sutherland, Katherine Brunt, Erin Osborne, Alana King, Tess Flintoff, Nicole Faltum (wk), Sophie Day
Sydney Thunder XI
Tammy Beaumont, Rachel Trenaman, Heather Knight, Rachael Haynes (c), Phoebe Litchfield, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Tahlia Wilson (wk), Hannah Darlington, Lauren Smith, Shabnim Ismail, Sam Bates