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Scorchers qualify for WBBL finals



The Perth Scorchers have booked a WBBL 06 semi-final berth with ladder leaders Melbourne Stars, despite suffering a three run loss to the Adelaide Strikers at North Sydney Oval on Sunday.


Having thrashed the Hobart Hurricanes by ten wickets thanks to a superb unbeaten 87 from returning captain Sophie Devine on Saturday, an improved net run rate from that result had the team in orange in the box seat to play finals heading in to the final day of regular season.


The Scorchers won the toss and chose to bowl first, happy to chase again after their Saturday success.


The Strikers weren't really able to get going at the top of their innings, regular wickets making acceleration difficult through the middle overs.


Katie Mack (32 off 20) and Laura Wolvaardt (37 from 32) made handy contributions without making a dominant score, before a late innings assault from all-rounder Amanda-Jade Wellington gave the Strikers innings a much needed boost.


Wellington smashed 48 from just 25 balls, hitting five fours and two sixes in a stunning display of batting, giving Adelaide a total of 6-159 from their 20 overs.


Sarah Glenn's outstanding tournament continued as she claimed 4-18 from 4 overs, Sam Betts the only other wicket taker for the Scorchers.


For the second straight match openers Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney got off to a fast start, both with half centuries as the chase appeared to be on track at 0-118 in the 14th over.


Devine miscued an attempted slog and was caught by Strikers keeper Tegan McPharlin from the resultant skier, having made 57 from 42 balls with nine fours.


Mooney made 60 and looked to be guiding the chase before she fell to Darcie Brown, part of a collapse that saw four wickets fall in four overs.


The boundaries dried up as the pressure told in the death overs, Nicole Bolton unable to guide her side home as Sarah Coyte delivered a superb final over for Adelaide, the Strikers winners by 3 runs.


It was a consolation win for the team in Blue, who missed out on finals with a 6-7 (one washout) win-loss record from their 14 matches to finish sixth overall.


Despite the Sydney Sixers chasing down 184 in their final match against the Melbourne Stars, they were unable to close the net run rate gap on the Scorchers to snatch fourth spot, Alyssa Healy's stunning 48 ball hundred not enough for the Sixers.


The Stars will face the Scorchers in the first semi-final at North Sydney Oval on Wednesday, while dual reigning champions Brisbane Heat will meet the Sydney Thunder at the same venue on Thursday, the winners of the respective matches to play off in the final next Saturday.


IMAGE: The Global Herald

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