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WBBL mid-season review: Sixers lead the way, Hurricanes and Stars pushing to stay in touch

A number of teams will be eyeing improved batting returns in the run to finals

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Getty Images

Getty Images

With 28 matches gone, the WBBL has reached the midway mark of the regular season. Teams are jostling for a top-four finish and a place in the finals, with the side that takes top spot earning a direct place in the final which they will host. Here's a round-up of how each side is placed.
Standings and statistics as of November 3

1. Sydney Sixers (Played 7; Points 12)

It would appear the resurgence has begun. Last season's bottom-placed team hit the halfway mark top of the table. Their only slip-up so far came in a narrow three-run defeat against Adelaide Strikers. Alyssa Healy has spoken about it being a team effort and the numbers support that: Suzie Bates leads the run-scoring with 208 at 41.60, but five batters have scored at least 146 runs. Erin Burns has shown tremendous form in the middle order, striking at 156.41 with two half-centuries. With the ball, four bowlers have taken between 11 and 13 wickets. They are strongly placed to push for top spot in the regular season which would direct hosting rights for the final.

2. Perth Scorchers (Played 7; Points 9)

The defending champions are well-placed for finals although there may be concerns over the batting. They started with four victories on the bounce, two of them comfortable chasing small totals at Blacktown Oval, and they held their nerve in a low-scoring scrap against Melbourne Stars. But no Scorchers batter has made a half-century. Sophie Devine has not found her usual destructive form while Beth Mooney, who tops the scoring, is striking at 91.37. Spinners Lilly Mills (10 wickets) and Alana King (8) have led the way with the ball and are an impressive duo, while Marizanne Kapp has also been superb. None of the bowlers have conceded more than 7.75 an over. Two defeats either side of a washout stalled them, but holding on for a three-run over Brisbane Heat could prove vital.

3. Adelaide Strikers (Played 7; Points 8)

After starting with two defeats, the well-balanced Strikers got into their groove with four consecutive wins before stumbling against Melbourne Stars and Tess Flintoff's record fifty. While not at the level of Scorchers, their batting hasn't been prolific but enough players have chipped in. Deandra Dottin has the only fifty so far, but Katie Mack has been consistent. However, Tahlia McGrath is having a tricky few weeks and her last three innings read 0, 0 and 1. She has also been the most expensive bowler and has now picked up a back injury. But the rest of the bowling has stood up. Darcie Brown has been superb with 11 wickets, and the fastest registered delivery in WBBL history, while Amanda-Jade Wellington has matched her own record figures of 5 for 8. Given the variety in their attack it would be a surprise if they aren't in finals again.

4. Brisbane Heat (Played 7; Points 8)

They bounced back from an opening defeat against Sydney Sixers - when Maitlan Brown struck the winning six with one ball remaining on a thrilling opening night - with four wins in a row but back-to-back defeats have pulled them towards mid-table. The consistent Georgia Redmayne leads the way with the bat as the competition's current top scorer and there are some handsome strike-rates dotted around, although Laura Harris has yet to contribute significant runs and Grace Harris made 65 of her 113 runs in one innings. Ellie Johnston hit 54 off 34 balls when asked to open but has only played one game since. They will hope that Danni Wyatt can hit her stride. As usual, Jess Jonassen heads up the bowling attack while Amelia Kerr is also going nicely. Charlie Knott has made a handy impact.

5. Hobart Hurricanes (Played 6, Points 7)

Hurricanes have largely alternated victory with defeat, but with a game in hand on the teams above them they remain firmly in contention. As with a number of teams the batting has yet to fire; they are without a single half-century and 41, from Lizelle Lee, is their top score. The wickets have been shared around with Maisy Gibson's four against Melbourne Renegades lifting her top of the tree. She, along with Hayley Jensen and Molly Strano have economy rates under six an over. It feels they will need more with the bat from Mignon du Preez, Ellyse Villani and Nicola Carey to seriously challenge.

6. Melbourne Stars (Played 7; Points 6)

A difficult start for Stars who were winless from four matches has since taken a turn for the better with two victories in the last three games to suggest they could be top-four contenders. Lauren Winfield-Hill currently leads the run-scoring as one of just three batters to pass 100 runs, the latest being Flintoff after her record-breaking fifty against Strikers. With the ball, no one has yet to reach double-figure wickets with Annabel Sutherland on nine scalps although both Sophie Day and Sasha Moloney have taken four-wicket hauls. Once again, Kim Garth's economy (5.54) stands out. With the season-long absence of Meg Lanning, they will hope that Jemimah Rodrigues and Alice Capsey can lift in the second half.

7. Sydney Thunder (Played 8; Points 4)

With six games left in their regular season, the fewest of all the teams, it looks a tough ask to make finals for Thunder in Rachael Haynes' final campaign. They have just one win so far, although that was an impressive victory over defending champions Scorchers on their home turf. Phoebe Litchfield tops the run-scoring and has made two of team's three half-centuries, the other going to Tammy Beaumont who has only made 24 runs in six innings aside from her unbeaten 77. Haynes has largely struggled with a strike-rate of 100. Lauren Smith is having a good season with the ball including a haul of 5 for 17 and they have been able to welcome back Hannah Darlington from injury. However, they have concerns over Amy Jones after she suffered a back problem against Sixers.

8. Melbourne Renegades (Played 7, Points 2)

It's been a tough time for Renegades who were hit by the withdrawal of Harmanpreet Kaur. They opened with a victory against Strikers, led by captain Sophie Molineux, but it has been six defeats since then. Carly Leeson is currently the leading batter with 163 runs but Hayley Matthews has yet to fire which she needed to do in Kaur's absence, although Chamari Athapaththu has been a good addition. After the opening game, the runs have dried up for Molineux although she is the leading wicket-taker.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo