The race to the WBBL Finals

WBBL07 is less than two weeks away from completing its group stage, with the teams finishing in third and fourth due to play Eliminator One on 24th November. 

The winner of that game will then play in Eliminator Two, the following day, against the team that have finished second in the table. 

And the winner from that game will then play the table-toppers, who will go straight to the final on 27th November.

Finishing top is therefore a big plus. Finish second and you will have to play at least one game before the final. If you finish third or fourth then you will need to win three games in four days to take the title. 

Here are the current league placings

So what games do the teams have left to play? Here they are in table order….

Renegades – Thunder, Hurricanes, Heat 
This looks a very comfortable run in for table-topping Renegades who are almost certainly into the Play-Offs, but would really like to finish top of the league and go straight into the final. Two wins and 20 points should be enough to claim top spot, but Renegades will be looking to win all three games, which would leave only Heat as contenders for league winners. They would have to win all of their last four games.

Scorchers – Strikers, Stars, Sixers
Currently sitting in second place Scorchers have a tougher set of fixtures to finish their league season. They will back themselves to beat struggling Stars, but Strikers and Sixers will be tougher opponents. That one win may be enough, but two out of three will make life much more comfortable for them. Three out of three and they might sneak top spot.

Heat – Sixers, Strikers, Thunder, Renegades
Heat also have a tough finish to the season. Thunder are almost done, but that means they can play with some freedom and it would be no surprise to see Thunder’s Smriti Mandhana win a game on her own. Sixers, Strikers and Renegades will all be scrapping for top four, but Heat have already beaten both Sixers and Strikers. One win may be enough, but three or four could see them finish top.

Stars – Scorchers, Strikers 
Stars have won only four of their twelve games, so only have two more to come. They did beat Strikers in a 14 over bash, but then lost their last two games badly to Renegades and Scorchers. They may have all the points they are going to get in WBBL07 which means they are unlikely to make the Play-Offs.

Strikers – Hurricanes, Heat, Scorchers, Sixers, Stars 
Strikers still have five games to play and their destiny really is still in their own hands. Win all five and they will end up with 19 points, which probably won’t get them straight to the final, but would be enough for a Play-Off spot. But five wins on the bounce would be a big ask. Two this weekend would be a great start – Hurricanes and Heat stand in their way.

Sixers – Heat, Thunder, Strikers, Scorchers
Sixers have been disappointing all season, and winning their last four games may not be enough for them, even if they could do it. Given their opponents 4/4 looks unlikely. Depending on other results three wins and 15 points might just be enough to sneak into the top 4, but even then NRR might let them down. Sixers need wins and big wins at that.

Hurricanes – Strikers, Renegades, Thunder 
Technically Canes are not out of it, but they would have to win all three and other results would have to go their way. Neither scenario seems very likely, but they could dent Strikers’ hopes if they can string together a full performance.

Thunder – Sixers, Renegades, Heat, Hurricanes 
Last year’s winners can make it to 14 points if they win all four of their games. But even that is very unlikely to be enough to get through. They have only managed two wins to date so four on the trot seems unlikely, but who knows in this topsy turvy version of the WBBL?

With four games over the weekend, not involving either Renegades or Scorchers, the chasing pack have the chance to state their claim. Can they take it?

Martin Davies

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