Stars Women will take on Perth Women in the first semifinal clash of Australian Women’s T20 2020. Melbourne clinched the top spot under Meg Lanning in the table, while Perth managed to take the 4th spot with a better net-run-rate.
Match Timings: Nov 25, 1:40 PM
North Sydney Oval is ready to host the final stage of the Australian Women’s T20. M. Stars finished higher on the table, and they will face Perth, who somehow qualified for the playoffs due to a positive NRR, thanks to their early winning margins.
Stars lost to Heat and Sixers to end their league stage campaign with 19 points coming into the semifinal stage. In their last outing, Healy smashed a ton to chase down 179 with 8 balls spare. Before this defeat, they also lost to the defending champions by 7 wickets at Drummoyne Oval. Stars’ team didn’t feature in the final of the tournament since the inaugural season, and they can finally break their finale jinx. The captain Lanning has led from the front throughout the season, scoring 381 runs at an average of 47.62. Mignon Du Preez has also given the depth in the middle order. The South African player amassed 318 runs at an average of 39.75. Sciver had a dull season with the bat, but she took charge with the ball by picking 16 wickets so far. The middle-order has a loophole, but Perth requires picking Lanning and Preez early to draw some collapse in their batting unit.
Meanwhile, Perth had the lucky charm as they pulled off the semifinal berth despite equalizing Sixers' points. Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney guided Perth home by chasing the target in 14.4 overs. In the next outing, they lost against Adelaide, but the margin was just three runs, which sealed their place in the top four. Perth’s batting relies on their openers, who are the best opening duo this season amongst all sides. Beth Mooney is the top scorer of this season with 476 runs at an average of 52.89, and Sophie Devine aggregated 361 runs at an average of 45.12. The middle-order can trouble Perth’s hopes if M. Stars gives early blows to Sophie’s unit. Sarah Glenn has led the bowling unit by picking 16 wickets, and Samantha Betts scalped 14 wickets for Perth. The skipper uses Glenn with the new ball and in the death overs. Betts is useful in the middle-overs with her left-arm spin. She controls the runs and provides breakthroughs.
Both sides faced each other twice in the league stage, and on both occasions, Stars had the last laugh. Perth came close to stun Stars, in the previous meeting, but the duo Flintoff-Rosemary Mair holds the nerves to defend 24 off the last two overs. One off-day can spoil Stars’ party one more time, and they would avoid any dramatic end to their campaign after a fluent start. On the other end, the openers' performance and Glenn’s bowling in the powerplay will be crucial for Perth to seal their place in the maiden final.
North Sydney Oval is a pure batting ground. It’s a night affair, so we might expect a little bit of dew so it will offer plenty of runs to batters. Spinners can take advantage in the middle-overs. It’s a knock-out game, so chasing would be a tricky call.
M. Stars Women
Elyse Villani, Meg Lanning (c), Mignon du Preez, Natalie Sciver, Annabel Sutherland, Anna Lanning, Katherine Brunt, Alana King, Tess Flintoff, Nicole Faltum (wk), Sophie Day
Sophie Devine (c), Beth Mooney (wk), Amy Ellen Jones, Chloe Piparo, Nicole Bolton, Mathilda Carmichael, Sarah Glenn, Jemma Barsby, Taneale Peschel, Piepa Cleary, Samantha Betts