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WBBL IN REVIEW

25 January 2016
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The Rebel WBBL has proven to be a success across a number of measures including attendance and TV ratings.

The Adelaide Strikers inaugural Rebel Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) season was a roller-coaster ride.

The Strikers managed six wins from 14 matches to finish in 7th position, yet just one victory away from a semi-finals berth.

In its’ inaugural season, the WBBL surpassed all expectations, with the Strikers twice featuring on Channel Ten’s ONE HD; one of which was a convincing win against the Perth Scorchers in front of 10,000 fans at Adelaide Oval.

The Team

Shelley Nitschke 

Featuring the core of the victorious Breezair SA Scorpions side, including captain Lauren Ebsary and resident internationals Sarah Taylor (England) and Sophie Devine (New Zealand), the Strikers enlisted the services of West Indian International Stacy-Ann King as well as legendary Australian and South Australian all-rounder Shelley Nitschke; the latter one of two big names (alongside Lisa Sthalekar) to be lured out of retirement.

The Highs

Sarah Coyte 

England international Sarah Taylor had yet another strong summer with both bat and gloves. Taylor hammered 393 runs to finish in the top five run scorers while completing the second most dismissals for a wicketkeeper behind the Sydney Thunder’s Claire Koski.

Finding a new home batting at number three, former NSW all-rounder Sarah Coyte was the Strikers’ big story of the Rebel WBBL. Coyte posted two big match-winning half centuries and combined with her 14 wickets with the new ball would have to be a hot favourite to take out the Strikers MVP Award alongside Taylor.

Special mention must also go to Sophie Devine and her much talked about brute hitting.  Coming to the crease with just a handful of overs remaining, Devine belted an unbeaten 47 off just 16 balls in the Strikers clash against the Melbourne Stars at Junction Oval in Melbourne; her four sixes crashed their way through the car park and sending spectators ducking for cover.

The Lows

Launching their season in Hobart, the Strikers were outplayed by a disciplined Hobart Hurricanes side in both matches, including a heart-breaking two-run loss in match one. It could be argued that loss was the one that cost the Strikers a top four finish and semi-final spot.

Touted by some as the team to beat, the Strikers boasted a batting line-up capable of posting imposing totals. Despite impressive individual performances the top five never really all got going at the same time, leaving the Strikers to ponder what could have been.

What’s Next

With the Commonwealth Bank Women’s International Series against India to get underway on Tuesday in Adelaide, Megan Schutt and Sarah Coyte will be out to impress ahead of pending sections for the 2016 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in March.

 

Sarah Taylor (England) and Stacy-Ann King (West Indies) have returned home before setting off for series’ against South Africa next month, while Sophie Devine has the remainder of the New Zealand domestic season to play out before she too resumes international commitments; the trio also expected to feature on the world stage during the 2016 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in India.

By The Numbers

Most Runs

Sarah Taylor - 393 runs at an average of 32.75 (5th in WBBL|01)

Highest Score

Sarah Taylor – 78 not out v Melbourne Stars

Most Sixes

Sophie Devine – 10 (1st in WBBL|01)

Most Wickets

Sarah Coyte – 14 wickets at an average of 18.28

Best Bowling Figures

Megan Schutt – 3/8 (4) v Hobart Hurricanes

Most Dismissals By A Wicketkeeper

Sarah Taylor – 16 total, 5 catches, 11 stumpings (2nd in WBBL|01)