Adelaide Strikers 2 for 118 (Mack 50*, McGrath 38*) beat Brisbane Heat 8 for 114 (Hancock 40, Wellington 5-8) by eight wickets
Amanda-Jade Wellington waltzed through Brisbane Heat with the best spell in WBBL history to send Adelaide Strikers into the Challenger against Melbourne Renegades after an eight-wicket over Brisbane Heat in the Eliminator at Adelaide Oval.
Wellington took 5 for 8 to create a new WBBL record, and became the fifth bowler to claim 100 WBBL wickets, in her 100th match, as Heat capitulated to post 8 for 114 after being sent in to bat. They were in danger of failing to reach three figures but Nicola Hancock played an extraordinary cameo making 40 off 26 balls from No.9.
The in-form Katie Mack piloted the chase perfectly with her fifth unbeaten half-century in seven innings while Tahlia McGrath helped finish it in style with some superb striking. The pair combined for an unbeaten 71-run partnership to steer the home side to victory with 21 balls to spare.
Wellington bamboozled the Heat top order with sharp spin and exceptional control. After Megan Schutt and Darcie Brown held Heat to their worst powerplay of the tournament, Wellington took two wickets in the three balls in the seventh over to sink Heat further into the mire. Grace Harris played one of her worst innings of the tournament scoring 17 from 27 balls before running past a beautifully bowled leg break from Wellington to be stumped by a mile. Striker captain Tahlia McGrath put a slip in and Wellington found the outside edge of Mikayla Hinkley two balls later.
Jess Jonassen was equally flummoxed by the ball spinning in, chopping on in the ninth over trying to pull a length ball that zipped back sharply. Wellington took two more in the 11th over to become the fifth bowler in WBBL history. Laura Kimmince holed out in the deep trying to slog-sweep with Bridget Patterson taking a sensational diving catch. Georgia Voll spooned a catch to point off the next ball.
When Anneke Bosch fell to Brown the Heat slumped to 7 for 52. But Hancock salvaged the wreck with an outstanding cameo of 40 from 26 balls. She smacked six fours and one six. Nadine de Klerk hung with her bravely after copping a nasty blow on the knee by a stray throw while running between the wickets. De Klerk cracked the last ball of the innings for four to finish 18 not out as Heat clattered 51 runs from the last five overs.
Heat needed early wickets but Jonassen opted not to bowl any spin in the powerplay and Strikers were able to get away to a solid start. Dane van Niekerk was the only wicket to fall in the first six overs but she struck two boundaries. Poonam Yadav was finally introduced in the eighth over and trapped Laura Wolvaardt lbw. But Mack was masterful and flawless in her execution against both pace and spin. She never got bogged down at any stage. She laid the platform for McGrath to power to the finish. The captain thumped a towering six off Poonam and followed it up with drilled drive straight of long-off. The pair cruised to victory with more than three overs to spare. Mack struck the winning wins with a lofted on drive to bring up yet another half-century.
Adelaide Strikers Women
Heat Wmn vs Strikers
Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo