The Adelaide Strikers have belted their way into the WBBL final with a crushing, nine-wicket win over the Melbourne Renegades.
From the outset, the home side dominated Thursday night’s ‘Challenger’ match at Adelaide Oval and never relented, bringing up the victory with 55 balls to spare.
After winning the toss and electing to field, the Strikers restricted the Renegades to a paltry 8-83 — the fourth-lowest total in their history — to book their spot in Saturday night’s decider against the Perth Scorchers.
Strikers openers Dane van Niekerk (43) and Katie Mack (31 not out) were intent on having as much rest as possible before the final, treating the Renegades’ demoralised bowling attack with disdain.
Van Niekerk copped a nasty hit to the hand but managed to bat on before being caught 12 runs short of the target.
The Renegades were immediately under pressure, with Strikers quick Megan Schutt (2-23) on song from the first ball of the match.
Schutt, an Australian international, produced an outstanding inswinger to bowl makeshift Renegades opener Josie Dooley.
It did not get any better for the Renegades as all Strikers bowlers got in on the action.
Spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington — who produced the best bowling figures in WBBL history in Wednesday night’s ‘Eliminator’ victory over Brisbane Heat — claimed the key scalp of Jess Duffin to overtake Jess Jonassen as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker.
Schutt’s opening partner, Darcie Brown, was just as lethal, finishing with economical figures of 2-9.
Not even Indian star Harmanpreet Kaur — who was named as the tournament’s leading player — could rescue the Renegades as she was trapped lbw for seven.
Renegades captain Sophie Molineux did not bat after opening for much of the tournament and she is believed to be carrying an injury.