The Adelaide Strikers have dramatically pipped Brisbane Heat by three runs to claim consecutive WBBL titles.
Chasing Adelaide’s 5-125, the Heat reached 8-122 in Saturday night’s final at Adelaide Oval.
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The Strikers triumphed before 12,379 spectators, the largest crowd ever for a women’s cricket game in Adelaide.
The crowd was the second-highest for a WBBL standalone fixture, behind the 15,511 who attended the 2021 final in Perth.
Adelaide join Sydney Thunder, Sydney Sixers and the Heat as winners of two WBBL crowns.
The Adelaide Strikers celebrate their three-run win against Brisbane Heat in the WBBL final. Credit: Getty Images
Their latest trophy was collected after a low-scoring, nerve-jangler when the Heat literally fell two metres short of victory.
After the game, Adelaide Strikers spinner Amanda-Jane Wellington’s said her heart stopped.
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While Brisbane Heat captain Jess Jonassen’s heart leapt.
And Strikers captain Tahlia McGrath’s said her heart was in her mouth.
The entire WBBL season, all 59 games of it, and the cherished trophy – came down to the final over.
The Heat required 11 from the last three balls and tailender Mikayla Hinkley cracked a six.
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Next ball, she fell two metres short of delivering victory when caught just inside the mid-off boundary by Jemma Barsby.
Then she went for glory.
Hinkley cracked a Wellington legspinner high and long, towards the mid-off boundary where Jemma Barsby was stationed.
Wellington: “My heart stopped.”
Jonassen: “We all thought on the sidelines that she potentially got it.”
McGrath: “I thought it was out. I thought it was six. I thought it was out.”
Near the boundary rope, Barsby took a few steps, then stood still – as time seemingly did.
Wellington: “I saw Jemma getting settled under it about two metres in front of boundary. I was like, ‘Oh, come on, just hold it’.”
Barsby held her nerve. And held the catch.
Wellington: “I let out a big scream of relief and joy.”
The entire season came down to the final ball. Credit: AAP
McGrath: “Pretty relieved … her foot wasn’t on the rope. Talk about a high pressure, it doesn’t get much more than that. We all ran up to her and everyone’s just saying, ‘that’s clutch’.”
Jonassen: “If her (Hinkley’s) second shot went for two more metres, that’s a Heat victory. T20 cricket – a game of margins.”
The moment meant Brisbane required five from the last ball.
They got one.
Adelaide won by three runs, with Wellington winning player of the match for her 3-16.
Wellington: “I have bowled a fair few last overs and a fair few super-overs as well. I love the crucial moments and the big moments.”
McGrath: “She (Wellington) had this look in her eyes. She knew what she wanted to do and then she executed for us. I was very similar to last year.”
Last year, Wellington also bowled the final over in Adelaide’s title win – but she had more breathing space.
Then, the Sydney Sixers needed 23 from the ultimate over. Wellington conceded 12 and took a wicket on the last ball.