M. Stars and S. Thunder will battle out in the finale of Australian Women’s T20 2020. M Stars overcame Perth in the first semifinal, while S Thunder broke Brisbane’s glorious knock-out winning streak with a 12-runs victory.
Match Timings: Nov 28, 1:40 PM (IST)
Australian Women’s T20 will have a new winner this year after S Thunder’sclinical victory over the defending champions, Brisbane, on Thursday night. M Stars and S THunder both will play their maiden final on Saturday. After topping the table, M Stars defeated Perth by 7-wickets to seal their place in the final. Alana King’s economic spell help Lanning’s side to restrict Perth on 125. M Stars lost two early wickets in the chase, but Sciver and Sutherland guided their side to home with 22 balls spare. Meg Lanning had a tremendous campaign this season as the captain, and she is one win away to take the trophy home for the first time.
This is the first time any Melbourne-based franchise has made it to the final of Australian Women’s T20. The captain has led from the front throughout the season, scoring 480 runs at an average of 43.64. Mignon Du Preez and Sciver both had given depth in middle-order. The South African player scored 376 runs at an average of 34.18. Sciver played a match-winning knock in the semifinal, and she will be a key player for M Stars in the final despite having dull numbers in the league-stage. Perth tried to break the top-order, but M. Stars avoided any collapse in the previous game. Their bowling department is also good with Brunt and Sciver with the seam and King in the spin.
Meanwhile, S. Thunder is also playing its first final, and they would try to replicate the glory of Sydney’s other franchise, who has won two titles. Riding on Rachel Haynes’ match-winning 48 and a commendable bowling comeback in flag-overs, S Thunder finally ended Brisbane’s campaign, who were looking to enter into another final. Brisbane collapsed from 119/4 to 131 all-out. Darlington bowled the most delicate spell in death-overs to script a memorable win for S. Thunder. Haynes’ unit maintained their consistent run this season, and they beat the defending champions twice this season.
S Thunder relies more on their bowling unit, but in the previous game, the batting unit has delivered an imposing total of 143. Heather Knight failed in the last game, but she has been outstanding this season, scoring 420 runs at an average of 38.18. Haynes has delivered what Lannig did for M Stars this season, amassing 316 while batting at number four, including 48 in the semifinal. Shabnim Ismail bowls economical, and she plays an important role as the seamer with Samantha Bates, who also gives an option in death-overs. Darlington is carrying S Thunder’s hopes in a crucial phase, and she showed a glimpse in the semifinal. Sammy-Jo Johnson has been a pillar of S Thunder and she is now the highest wicket-taker of the season with 20 wickets. Both franchises locked horns just once in the league stage, and Lanning’s unit had the better hand on Haynes’ unit.
North Sydney Oval gets slow as the match progresses. It’s a decent T20 surface, which helps bowlers. Batting requires patience, and any score above 140 would be a substantial total. Batting first is an ideal call, considering the chasing pressure and the extra spin.
Tammy Beaumont, Rachel Trenaman, Heather Knight, Rachael Haynes (c), Phoebe Litchfield, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Tahlia Wilson (wk), Hannah Darlington, Lauren Smith, Shabnim Ismail, Samantha Bates
Meg Lanning (c), Elyse Villani, Mignon du Preez, Natalie Sciver, Annabel Sutherland, Katherine Brunt, Erin Osborne, Alana King, Tess Flintoff, Nicole Faltum (wk), Sophie Day
This season – M: 11, Runs: 480, Avg: 43.63
Mignon du Preez
This season – M: 11, Runs: 376, Avg: 34.18
This season – M: 14, Runs: 403, Avg: 40.30
This season – M: 14, Wickets: 20, Avg: 15.75