One of the premier domestic tournaments in women's cricket, the Big Bash League (WBBL 2021) is underway, with eight teams fighting for the coveted trophy. The first of its kind, the WBBL kickstarted a revolution of franchise cricket and allowed the domestic players in the Australian side an opportunity to showcase their skills and learn from the best in the business whilst creating an impact. The 2021 edition of the tournament has eight Indian players in action, and they'll be keen to showcase their prowess and get plenty of quality match practice before the gruelling World Cup in March next year.
27th November: Marizanne Kapp's all-around performance helps Scorchers seal their maiden WBBL title
Perth Scorchers clinched their maiden WBBL title courtesy of an all-around performance from Marizanne Kapp. After being asked to bat first, Kapp scored a quick-fire 31 off 23 balls studded with four boundaries to propel the side to 146/5 in the first innings. In pursuit of 147 runs, Kapp started the proceedings exceedingly well with the new ball and restricted the flow of runs. The pacer picked up the scalp of Bridget Patterson and returned with figures of 1/25 in her four-over spell. One of the standout features in her spell was the 13 dot deliveries that stemmed the flow of the runs for the Strikers. She was adjudged the player of the match for her scintillating performance.
Challenger: Darcie Brown stars with the ball as Strikers storm in the final
Adelaide Strikers endured a dream start to the Challenger match against the Melbourne Renegades as Megan Schutt dismissed Josephine Dooley off the first delivery. The team failed to recover from the early jolt as it lost wickets at regular intervals to score 83/8 in the first innings. Darcie Brown was the pick of the bowlers for the side as she picked up two wickets for nine runs in her four overs, including 18 dot deliveries. Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur managed to score 16 and seven respectively for the Renegades.
In pursuit of 84 runs for a place in the final, Dane van Niekerk and Katie Mack stitched an opening partnership of 72 runs to lay a solid foundation for the side in the run chase. Despite the dismissal of van Niekerk for 43 runs, the Strikers got over the line with nine wickets and 55 balls to spare.
Eliminator: Amanda Jade Wellington scripts history with the best WBBL figures
Amanda Jade Wellington weaved her magic in the eliminator to help the Adelaide Strikers defeat Brisbane Heat by eight wickets at the Adelaide Oval. The leg spinner wreaked havoc with the ball and scalped five wickets for eight runs to derail the batting unit of the Heat. Nicola Hancock, batting at number nine, top-scored for the side with 40 off 26 balls to help them crawl their way to 114/8. Riding on an unbeaten half-century from Katie Mack and contribution from skipper Tahlia McGrath (38*) helped them register a comprehensive win with 21 balls to spare.
21st November: Sixers slump to their ninth defeat of the season
After batting in the middle-order for the last couple of games, Shafali Verma was back to open the innings in the final league match against the Perth Scorchers. The 17-year old scored a quickfire 27 off 22 deliveries with four boundaries and one six to help the Sixers post 128/4 in the 20 overs. In reply, Chloe Piparo smashed an unbeaten half-century off 39 balls to power the Scorchers to an eight-wicket win.
20th November: Shafali Verma's endures a day to forget as Sixers sink in the points table
The teenage batting sensation, Shafali Verma, is having a tough time with the bat in this edition of the tournament. Coming into bat at number five, the right-handed batter was dismissed run out without facing a ball in the first innings. The Sixers were bundled out for 82 runs against the Adelaide Strikers owing to lack of runs from the batting unit. In reply, the Strikers chased the target in 10.2 overs with eight wickets to spare, courtesy of valuable contributions from Dane van Niekerk (33) and Katie Mack (24).
In the second game, Mignon du Preez's scintillating knock of unbeaten 87 propelled the Hobart Hurricanes to 147/5 in the first innings against the Sydney Thunder. The right-handed batter laid the foundation with a sublime inning but failed to support the rest of the batters. Richa Ghosh, batting at number five, was dismissed for two off three deliveries. In pursuit of 148, the Thunders were jolted early as Smriti Mandhana was dismissed without scoring. Despite Deepti Sharma's contribution of 31 off 36 deliveries with two boundaries, the defending champions fell short by four runs.
19th November: Deepti Sharma's all-round show helps Thunder edge past Heat
Riding on half-centuries from Ruth Johnson (63) and Mignon du Preez (50), the Hobart Hurricanes posted a mammoth total of 161/5 in their quota of 20 overs. While the duo laid the foundation with a 120-run stand, Richa Ghosh failed to give the team much-needed impetus in the back end of the innings and was dismissed for seven. In reply, the Renegades were bundled out for 109 runs in 18 overs, courtesy of a three-wicket haul from Sasha Moloney. Jemimah Rodrigues (19) and Harmanpreet Kaur could not guide the team through and were dismissed on 19 and 9, respectively.
In the second match, with valuable contributions of 29 and 24* from Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma, the Sydney Thunder scored 162/5 in the first innings against the Brisbane Heat. In reply, Deepti picked up two wickets for 21 runs in her four-over spell to guide the team to a nine-run win.
15th November: Smriti Mandhana's unbeaten 114 in vain as Renegades edge past Thunder to top the table
In a nail-biting encounter at Mackay Oval, Melbourne Renegades edged past the Sydney Thunder by four runs to record their eighth win of the season and top the table with 18 points. After being asked to bat first, the Renegades were powered to a massive total of 175/4 courtesy of a scintillating inning from Harmanpreet Kaur. The skipper of the Indian side in T20 internationals smashed an unbeaten 81 off 55 deliveries studded with 11 boundaries and two massive hits over the fence to guide the team to a huge score.
In reply, Smriti Mandhana displayed an array of strokes all around the ground en route to her knock of an unbeaten 114 off 64 deliveries with 14 fours and three sixes. However, the southpaw failed to get adequate support from the batting unit as the Thunder fell agonisingly short by four runs.
14th November: Smriti Mandhana's 45 guides Thunder to a six-wicket win
In the Sydney Derby, it was Thunders who emerged victorious as Smriti Mandhana's 45 helped the reigning champions chase 95 runs with six wickets and 28 balls to spare. After electing to bat first, Sixers was jolted early as Shafali Verma was dismissed for eight off 14 deliveries. With wickets at regular intervals, the Sixers managed to score 94/6 in the first innings. In reply, Mandhana laid a solid foundation for the side with a valuable contribution and helped them register a comfortable six-wicket win.
13th November: Richa Ghosh, Shafali Verma endure a day to forget
The Adelaide Strikers continued their sublime form with the bat and amassed 142/4 in their quota of 20 overs against the Hobart Hurricanes. However, in reply, the Hurricanes struggled to get going and were bundled out for 94 runs, resulting in the Strikers registering a resounding 48-run win. Richa Ghosh, batting at number five for the Hurricanes, was dismissed for four off five deliveries.
Sydney Sixers slumped to another defeat in the tournament as they managed to score 91 runs in the first innings after being asked to bat first by the Brisbane Heat. Shafali Verma crawled her way to seven off 13 in the first innings. Heat struggled to get going in the first half of the run chase but managed to get over the line with three wickets to spare.
10th November: Shafali Verma's unbeaten half-century in vain as Strikers win by eight wickets
India's swashbuckling opener, Shafali Verma has been shouldered with the responsibility of batting in the middle order for the Sixers in the last couple of games. The right-handed batter smashed an unbeaten 53 off 43 deliveries studded with six fours and one massive six to guide the team to 142/4 in the first innings against the Adelaide Strikers. Despite her valiant efforts, the Strikers registered a resounding eight-wicket win riding on a match-winning 67 off 55 deliveries from Katie Mack.
9th November: Indian's endure a dismal day on the field
Batting first, an unbeaten 86 off 52 deliveries from Ashleigh Gardner propelled the Sydney Sixers to 159/2 against the Brisbane Heart. In reply, with valuable contributions from Grace Harris (54) and Georgia Voll (48*), Heat registered a comprehensive eight-wicket win with nine balls to spare. Radha Yadav picked up the wicket of Harris and conceded 33 runs in her four-over spell for the Sixers.
Adelaide Strikers smashed a mammoth 176/4 in the first innings in the second game of the day, courtesy of twin half-centuries from Dane van Niekerk (58) and Laura Wolvaardt (54) against the Sydney Thunder. While Deepti Sharma endured a torrid time with the ball and conceded 35 runs in her two-over spell, Smriti was dismissed early for seven runs in pursuit of 177 runs resulting in the defending champions falling short by 18 runs.
7th November: Poonam Yadav's magical spell guides Brisbane Heat to a five-wicket win
Poonam Yadav wreaked havoc in the middle overs as she picked up 3 for 17 to derail the batting unit of Sydney Thunder. While Smriti Mandhana scored 37 off 24 balls, she failed to convert this start into a big score to help the side post a massive first innings total. In reply, Georgia Redmayne anchored the innings with a half-century to help Brisbane Heat register a five-wicket win.
Harmanpreet Kaur's three-wicket haul enabled the Melbourne Renegades to register a thumping-seven wicket win against Melbourne Stars. The off-spinner was the standout performer for the side and returned with figures of 3 for 22 to bundle out the Stars for 103 runs. In pursuit of the small total, Jemimah Rodrigues laid a solid foundation with a valuable 45 studded with six boundaries to help the Renegades record a resounding win.
6th November: Rodrigues and Harmanpreet shine with half-centuries in a big win for the Renegades
Riding on half-centuries from Jemimah Rodrigues (52), Eve Jones (62) and Harmnapreet Kaur (65), Melbourne Renegades posted 207/4 in the first innings at Adelaide against the Brisbane Heat. In reply, despite Laura Kimmince's quickfire 42, the Heat were dismissed for 192 runs and fell short by 15 runs.
Hobart Hurricanes edged past the Perth Scorchers by two runs in a low-scoring encounter at the WACA. Racheal Priest scored 54 off 48 deliveries to help the Hurricanes post 137/8 in the first innings. Richa Ghosh was dismissed without scoring off the second delivery. In reply, a clinical bowling performance helped them register a two-run win in a nail-biting thriller.
3rd November: Indian contingent endure a dismal day on the field
A 103-run partnership for the second wicket propelled the Syndey Sixers to 141/4 against the Hobard Hurricanes in Perth. With valuable contributions from Ellyse Perry (47) and Ashleigh Gardner (51), Sixers posted a fighting total after being asked to bat first. Coming in at number four, Shafali Verma was dismissed early for three runs. In reply, the Hurricanes managed to score 110/7 and fell short of the target by 31 runs. Radha Yadav picked up a wicket in her three-over spell and conceded 20 runs.
In the evening encounter, Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney produced scintillating performances to power the Perth Scorchers to a 40-run win over the Melbourne Renegades. One of the most destructive opening combinations in the WBBL, the duo stitched a 165-run stand of the first wicket to lay a solid foundation for the side. Harmanpreet and Jemimah Rodrigues were dismissed early in pursuit of the target scoring 13 and 9, respectively.
31st October: Harmanpreet Kaur's scintillating half-century helps Renegades record their fifth win
One of the most destructive players in this form of the game, Harmanpreet Kaur, smashed an unbeaten 73 off 46 deliveries to propel the Melbourne Renegades to a six-wicket win against the Adelaide Strikers in a high-scoring match. Chasing 161, the right-handed batter walked in with the side reeling at 33/2 in the sixth over. Accumulating the ones and twos, she steadied the innings along with Josephine Dooley and forged a crucial 70-run stand for the third wicket. With 58 runs needed off the last five overs, Harmanpreet took the attack to the opposition bowling unit. Displaying an array of strokes all around the ground en route to this match-winning inning of 73*, she smashed three boundaries and five sixes to guide the team over the line with two balls to spare. A nail-biting win has helped the Renegades top the points table.
In the first match at Launceston, Deepti Sharma's all-round performance helped the Sydney Thunder register their second win of the season. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Smriti Mandhana's fluent half-century with four boundaries and one six helped the defending champions post 146/6. While the southpaw laid the foundation with the bat at the top of the order, Deepti smashed 20 off 15 deliveries to give the team much-needed impetus in the back end of the innings. Defending 147 runs, the off-spinner wreaked through the batting unit of the side with three wickets in the middle overs. Deepti finished with figures of 3 for 13 with 14 dot deliveries in her four-over spell and was adjudged the player of the match.
30th October: Deepti Sharma's all-round show powers Thunder to their first win
Melbourne Renegades registered a 12-run win against the Sydney Sixers in a closely contested match at Lilac Hill in Perth. Riding on valuable contributions from Jemimah Rodrigues (25 off 27) and Harmanpreet Kaur (43 off 32), Renegades posted 142/7. Coming in at number four, Harmanpreet displayed an array of strokes all around the ground to score a quickfire 43 with four boundaries and a six. In reply, the Sixers changed their opening combination with Ellyse Perry striding out to the middle along with Alyssa Healy in place of Shafali Verma. However, the move seemed to have backfired as Healy was dismissed early in the innings. Shafali scored 20 off 15, batting at five.
Deepti Sharma's all-round show powered the Sydney Thunder to a 19-run win against the Melbourne Stars in Launceston. In a low-scoring encounter, Phoebe Litchfield's valuable contribution of 49, along with Deepti's 16 off 14 deliveries, helped the Thunders post 133/5 in the first innings. With the ball, the off-spinner weaved her magic and picked up three crucial wickets to dent the middle order of the side. The wickets of Kim Garth, Erin Osborne and Nicole Faltum helped the Thunders restrict the opposition for 120/8 in their quota of 20 overs. The 24-year old conceded at an economy rate of 6.25 and returned with figures of 3 for 25 in her four overs.
While the Brisbane Heat recorded a 14-run win against the Hobart Hurricanes in the second league match at Launceston, the Indian duo of Poonam Yadav and Richa Ghosh endured a day to forget. While Richa Ghosh was dismissed for 16, Poonam conceded 24 runs off her two overs, including three boundaries.
27th October: Rodrigues stars as Renegades beat Thunder
Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma all had solid outings but it was the former two who ended up on the winning side. Rodrigues slammed 75* off 56 deliveries, studded with nine fours, and put on an 84-run opening partnership with Josephine Dooley (34-ball 37) to propel Melbourne Renegades to a competitive total of 142/5. Mandhana (44-ball 64) then showed her class in the second innings and kept Sydney Thunder alive in the contest till the 15th over. Harmanpreet could only score three runs but got the key wicket of Mandhana to turn the game in Melbourne's favour. Deepti, who finished with figures of 1/23 in the first innings, smashed 23* off 10 deliveries but didn't find any support from other batters. The Renegades eventually won the game by nine runs.
In the second match of the day, Hobart Hurricanes edged past the Melbourne Stars by six wickets courtesy of a masterclass from Mignon du Preez. Chasing 145 runs for the win, the right-handed batter smashed 62 off 45 deliveries. While the South African player laid a solid foundation with a sublime half-century, a 24-run cameo from Richa Ghosh down the order propelled the Hurricanes over the line. Coming in at number five, the 18-year old scored an unbeaten 24 off 16 balls with four boundaries to help the side get over the line in Launceston.
26th October: Deepti Sharma's unbeaten 44 in vain as Sydney Thunder suffer their third loss
Deepti Sharma's unbeaten knock of 44 runs off 48 deliveries went in vain as Sydney Thunder suffered a 12-run loss against the Melbourne Stars. The off-spinner picked up 1-28 to help the defending champions restrict the Stars for 108/7 in the first innings. In reply, after tottering at 12/4, Deepti anchored the innings with a well-compiled 44 with four boundaries. However, despite her valiant effort, lack of support from the top order resulted in the Thunder falling short by 12 runs.
In the second encounter, Brisbane Heat registered a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Hobart Hurricanes. Richa Ghosh struggled with her timing all through the innings and scored 22 off 27 balls before being caught on the boundary. The Hurricanes have endured a tough time with the bat in the past couple of seasons, and lack of runs from the top order resulted in them posting 132/8 in the first innings. In pursuit of a modest total, Grace Harris (57*) and Mikayla Hinkley (49*) stitched an unbeaten partnership of 86 runs to propel the side home by eight wickets.
24th October: Harmanpreet Kaur's heroics guides Renegades to a seven-wicket win
Harmanpreet Kaur's all-around performance propelled the Melbourne Renegades to a seven-wicket win against the Sydney Sixers at Launceston. The 32-year old opened the bowling for the side and picked up the prized wickets of Alyssa Healy and Ash Gardner in the powerplay with her handy off-spin. Harmanpreet gave away just 17 runs in her four overs and returned with the bat to anchor the 119-run chase with an unbeaten 35 off 29 deliveries. The two young Indian players, Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues failed to get going, with the former dismissed for a golden duck while Rodrigues scored 14 off 15.
In the evening encounter, Sophie Devine smashed a destructive century off 60 deliveries to power the Perth Scorchers to 186/2 in their 20 overs against the Sydney Thunder. Deepti Sharma, in her three-over spell, conceded 29 runs without picking up a wicket. In reply, the onus of the batting unit relied on Smriti Mandhana. However, the southpaw was dismissed for nine resulting in an 81-run loss for the team.
20th October: Harmanpreet Kaur's 41 in vain as Renegades suffer an eight-wicket lossThe Indian contingent endured a dismal performance in their league matches. While Harmanpreet Kaur scored a patient 41 off 37 balls, Jemimah Rodrigues crawled to 13 off 17 deliveries against the Adelaide Strikers. With the batting unit managing to score 126 runs in the first innings, the Strikers led by an unbeaten half-century from Tahlia McGrath registered a resounding eight-wicket win.
In the evening encounter between the Sydney Sixers against the Melbourne Stars, Radha Yadav produced an economical spell of four overs for 17 runs to restrict the Stars to 139/3 in their 20 overs. In reply, Shafali Verma was dismissed off the third ball in the first over without troubling the scorers. The Sixers failed to recover from this early blow and fell short by 30 runs in the run chase.
19th October: Poonam Yadav's 2-15 help Heat register a thumping winA vital half-century from the opening batter, Georgia Redmayne powered the Heat to 162/5 in their first innings after being asked to bat first against the Perth Scorchers. In reply, Poonam Yadav weaved her magic with an economical spell of 2-15 in her four overs. The leg spinner picked up the crucial wickets of Chloe Piparo and Mathilda Carmichael to derail the opposition batting unit in the middle overs and help the Brisbane Heat register a comprehensive 59-run win.
Earlier in the day, a scintillating century by skipper Racheal Priest propelled the Hobart Hurricanes to 152/4 in the first game against the Melbourne Stars. The right-handed batter smashed an unbeaten 107 off 68 balls to help them post a formidable first-innings total. Priest was the lone warrior for the side as Richa Ghosh struggled to get going and scored two off ten deliveries. A destructive performance with the ball led by a four-wicket haul in the second innings by Ruth Johnston resulted in a 63-run win for the Hurricanes.
17th October: Shafali Verma's half-century powers Sixers to a five-wicket win
Shafali Verma's well-compiled half-century off 50 deliveries powered the Sixers to a five-wicket win against the Hobart Hurricanes. After being asked to bat first, Richa Ghosh laid a solid foundation for the side with a run-a-ball 46 to help the Hurricanes score 125/9. Radha Yadav picked up two wickets for the Sixers and conceded 31 runs.
In pursuit of 126, the Sixers were jolted early in the innings as Alyssa Healy and Ash Gardner were dismissed, with the score reading 14 for 2. However, a 63-run partnership for the third wicket between Shafali and Ellyse Perry helped them recover from the early jitters and get back into the game. While Perry anchored the innings with a patient 27 off 33 deliveries, Shafali displayed an array of strokes all around the ground to notch up her maiden WBBL half-century. The 17-year old scored 57 off 50 balls studded with six boundaries to guide the Sixers to a five-wicket win.
The evening encounter featuring the Perth Scorchers and the Brisbane Heat ended in a tie, with the Scorchers winning the one-over eliminator. Poonam Yadav, plying her trade for the Heat in this edition of the competition, picked up two crucial wickets of in-form Beth Mooney and Heather Graham in the middle overs to dent the Scorchers after being asked to bat first. The leg spinner bowled three overs and conceded 25 runs with six dots to restrict the opposition for 137/7 in the first innings. In reply, with valuable contributions from the batting unit, the Heat managed to score 139/9 courtesy of a 41-run knock from Grace Harris.
16th October: Harmanpreet Kaur's all-round performance propels Renegades to their first win
The Melbourne Renegades were up against the Hobart Hurricanes in the second league match of the tournament. While the Hurricanes struggled with their performance last season, they acquired the services of Richa Ghosh to bolster the middle order in this edition. The move seemed to have paid dividends as the 18-year old scored a quickfire 21 off 14 deliveries to give the team much-needed impetus and help them post 121 in the first innings. Harmanpreet Kaur, bowling her off-spin, conceded 20 runs in her three overs and picked up a wicket of Ghosh to restrict the flow of runs in the back end of the innings.
In reply, Sophie Molineux and Jemimah Rodrigues started the inning steadily before the skipper was dismissed for 16 in the fifth over. Despite the stutter, Rodrigues accumulated the ones and the twos and forged a 68-run partnership for the second wicket with Courtney Webb. However, Rodrigues was dismissed for 33 off 34 deliveries as she tried to take the attack to the opposition. India's T20I captain, Harmanpreet Kaur, then consolidated the innings and scored an unbeaten 24 off 19 deliveries studded with one boundary and a solitary six to guide the team over the line with six wickets to spare
In the evening encounter, Sydney Thunder, featuring Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma, clashed with Adelaide Strikers. Hannah Darlington will be at the helm of the affairs of the side. The match, however, did not pan out the way the Thunders would have wanted as they were asked to chase 133 runs courtesy of a sublime 42 from Thalia McGrath. Deepti Sharma struggled to provide the team with breakthroughs in the middle overs and conceded 32 runs in her four overs, and picked up the prized wicket of Laura Wolvaardt.
Chasing 133 runs for the win, the onus of the side relied heavily on Smriti Mandhana in the absence of Rachael Haynes. However, the southpaw was dismissed early for four as she tried to use the field restriction and get the team off to a flying start. On the other hand, Deepti too struggled to find her rhythm and was dismissed for four runs resulting in the Thunders succumbing to a 30-run defeat.
14th October: Shafali Verma fails to impress on her WBBL debut
In the inaugural match of the WBBL, Shafali Verma and Radha Yadav, playing their trade for the Sydney Sixers, locked horns with the Melbourne Stars at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart. While relentless showers threatened to wash out the game, the ground staff weaved their magic and ensured the two sides could enthrall the fans in a curtailed match.
After being asked to bat first, the Stars managed to post 99 runs in11 overs, with Elyse Villani scoring an unbeaten 55 off 31 deliveries. Radha returned with figures of none for 15 in her two-over spell. The Sixers boast of one of the most destructive opening combinations in Shafali and Alyssa Healy. While Healy made optimum use of the field restrictions and started the innings in a commanding fashion, Shafali failed to get going and was dismissed for eight. Despite her wicket, Sixers romped home with six wickets to spare courtesy of a blazing knock of 57 off 27 from Healy.
(Cover image credit - Getty Images)