HomeWBBL: Adelaide Strikers defeat Brisbane Heat in Mackay, Katie Mack half-century

WBBL: Adelaide Strikers defeat Brisbane Heat in Mackay, Katie Mack half-century

The Adelaide Strikers have dismantled WBBL heavyweights the Brisbane Heat, who were disappointing with the bat on Sunday.

The Adelaide Strikers have denied Brisbane Heat captain Jess Jonassen a win in her 100th WBBL match at Mackay’s Great Barrier Reef Arena.

Becoming the first player to reach the milestone, Sunday’s match did not go to script for the Australian spinner, with the Strikers restricting the Heat to under 100 and chasing down 95 to win inside 17 overs and with eight wickets in hand.

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Incredibly, Jonassen has not missed a single match since the Heat’s inaugural fixture against the Melbourne Stars on 4 December 2015.

There are tens of players lining up behind her to reach the same milestone, but the left-arm finger spinner has beaten them to it.

Next on the list is former Heat wicketkeeper-batter, now Perth Scorcher, Australian star Beth Mooney, who will bring up her 100th match in Adelaide on Wednesday.

“It’s crazy to think that’s been 100 games already and feels like yesterday that the competition started,” Jonassen said.

“I think the things that stand out for most for me are our first title, and obviously going back-to back … those couple of years were really special.”

Jonassen, hailing from nearby Rockhampton, is one of only three women to claim 100 WBBL wickets and has the second-most (109) across the tournament’s history.

Katie Mack (54 not out) brought up the win with a four and combined with captain Tahlia McGrath (31 not out) to steer the Strikers to a second successive win in as many days with an unbeaten 88-run stand. It was Mack’s second fifty of WBBL|07, following her first during the week.

“I knew I had to come in, had to play with intent because I knew if I didn’t that was more dangerous than coming out and playing your shots,” Mack said post-match

The late surge towards the finals continues for Adelaide with four straight wins, in six days, confirming fourth spot on the WBBL|07 ladder.

The Perth Scorchers are up next for Adelaide, back home on Wednesday, the first of three remaining matches.

“We have a really heavy back end which hopefully will help with momentum, hopefully we don’t get too tired. (We’re) playing really confident and backing our skills.”

Despite the loss, the Heat remain second with the carrot of a first-place finish, and a possible direct passage to the final for that top team, still dangling in front of them.

Scoring was again tough in Mackay as had been the case in the two matches on Saturday. For the second time in as many days, the Strikers kept their opponents to under 100.

And Amanda-Jade Wellington (2-21) kept her wicket-taking habit going.

Wellington a key part of Strikers’ surge

With her wickets tally for WBBL|07 standing at 15 at an average of just 15.8, Wellington has been an essential member of the Strikers’ recent charge.

Until her final over on Saturday, the leg-spinner had 2-7 from three overs, including in-form Heat opener Georgia Redmayne (14).

Wellington has taken seven wickets in the four straight wins, continuing a great run of form that spans back to the UK Hundred.

She returned 14 wickets in her stint with the Southern Brave, during the Australian winter, at the incredible average of 11.5.

With leg-spinner Georgia Wareham ruled out for many months with an ACL injury, the South Australian is making a strong case for the upcoming multi-format Women’s Ashes and 50-over Women’s World Cup in early 2022.

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