The Women’s Big Bash League is now underway in Australia, marking the start of one of the most exciting tournaments ever for women in cricket. Here’s our guide to the WHITE FERNS involved in the WBBL tournament and a quick look at how they’ve fared as we head towards the finals.
WHITE FERN: Sophie Devine
Wellington Blaze all-rounder, Sophie Devine, is the sole WHITE FERNS’ representative in the Strikers set-up for 2016. Sophie’s already had experience playing cricket in Adelaide after turning out for the South Australian Scorpions in recent years – including a 4-wicket bag and 50 in an appearance this season. The Strikers are pretty excited to have a T20 record-breaker on their books, naming Sophie the player to watch ahead of their opening game (where she claimed 2 wickets.)
UPDATE: Throughout the tournament Sophie’s lived up to her all-rounder billing: she has the equal-most wickets for the Strikers after 7 matches, and has the second-highest run tally. With two trips back to New Zealand to play for the Wellington Blaze between Striker’s games, Sophie is probably the most well-travelled player in the competition. She has also, definitely, saved her best for her home team.
WHITE FERN: Amy Satterthwaite
Amy Satterthwaite is another WHITE FERN who enters into the WBBL with experience in Australia after appearing for Tasmania. She started the inaugural WBBL in good touch with 30+ scores in the opening two games and a couple of wickets in the third. That start should make the Hurricanes pretty happy with their import, almost as happy as Christchurch’s club cricketers if this story from Stuff.co.nz is anything to go by.
UPDATE: Like Sophie, Amy has proven to be a star all-rounder in the WBBL. Through their first 11 games she has the Hurricane’s second-best batting average and is among their best bowlers too, with an ability to claim key wickets. She was also a key part of the Hurricane’s best partnership of the tournament to date: 88 with Hayley Matthews for the second wicket against the Melbourne Stars (before New Zealand team mate, Morna Nielsen, bowled her – #braggingrights).
WHITE FERN: Rachel Priest
The Renegades scored pretty highly before even playing a game in the WBBL after signing in-form WHITE FERNS’ keeper, Rachel Priest. In her second game of the tournament, Rachel hit 6 fours on her way to 41. That kind of start justifies the Women’s Cricket Blog naming her as one of the players to watch ahead of the WBBL in this post.
UPDATE: After hitting 41 in the opening match, Rachel has continued to get starts at the top of the Renegades order and, seven games into their season, she has the team’s best batting average. Her highest score so far is 47 against the Thunder where she hit eight 4s in her 39-ball innings.
WHITE FERNS: Morna Nielsen & Hayley Jensen
The Melbourne Stars have opened the WBBL with a couple of victories, the first one due, in no small part, to Morna Nielsen claiming 3 wickets. She’s joined in the Stars set-up by Melbourne-based, former-WHITE FERN, Hayley Jensen. Hayley could fly under the radar in the WBBL but, with appearances all season for Victoria featuring regular wickets and consistent runs, she’s one to watch.
UPDATE: With 11 wickets in the tournament, Morna’s inside the top 10 WBBL wicket-takers. The Stars are definitely missing their WHITE FERNS’ bowler while she’s playing for the Otago Sparks: with Morna in the team, the Stars won 4 out of 5 games, without her they’ve got 1 win from 4. Hayley’s had limited chances with the bat but has been useful with the ball, claiming 5-wickets at the team’s second-best average.
WHITE FERN: Suzie Bates
The WBBL is filled with international stars from across the globe, but the Scorchers probably have more than their fair share with England’s Charlotte Edwards, the West Indies’ Deandra Dottin and our own Suzie Bates, along with one or two handy Aussies. Another WHITE FERN with experience playing across the ditch, Suzie has let the ball do the talking in the Scorchers’ opening two games, claiming 5 wickets.
UPDATE: Suzie started strong with the ball for the Scorchers and has now let her bat speak, hitting 42* and 51 in her last two games before returning to the Otago Sparks. With a tournament batting average of over 40 and a bowling average under 19, Suzie’s another WHITE FERN who’s proving an invaluable all-rounder in the WBBL.
WHITE FERN: Sara McGlashan
The most experienced player in WHITE FERNS’ history, Sara McGlashan also has plenty of experience in Australian conditions after a couple of seasons with the ACT Meteors. For the inaugural WBBL she’s moved north to play for the star-studded Sydney Sixers. In spite of all those stars, it’s been a rough start to the campaign for the Sixers. Sara looks in good touch though, having hit 61 in their third match.
UPDATE: It’s fair to say the Sixers’ season hasn’t gone according to plan as their rough start’s continued, leaving them with just one win from their first seven matches. Anyone who’s seen Sara bat will know that she’s one of the hardest-hitting players around and she’s been backing that up in the WBBL: her strike rate of 115.59 is among the tournament’s best.
SYDNEY THUNDER & BRISBANE HEAT
WHITE FERNS: None
We don’t know what these teams were thinking…