Gaurav Joshi is a freelance cricket journalist. He had previously covered cricket for ABC Radio, BBC Asia, Mid-Day News, ESPNcricinfo and Wisden.
Ashleigh Gardner (Age: 19) – Sydney Sixers
M:12 Runs: 326 Avg: 29.63 HS: 54 Wickets: 6
If there was to be Southern Stars team selected at this moment there is fair chance Ashleigh Gardner would find a spot in the squad. Batting at No.3, Gardner has attracted plenty of headlines for her breathtaking stroke play throughout the season. Gardner is currently the fourth leading run-scorer in WBBL|02 and her strike-rate of 119.41 is only behind Strikers blaster Sophie Devine.
The talented allrounder’s counter attack against some of the best bowlers in the world has been treat to watch. She has the happy knack of clearing the boundaries with brute power and superb timing.
Gardner is also an exceptional outfielder with a rocket arm and has also turned her arm over with the ball snaring six wickets. To put it simply, she is undoubtedly the breakout star of WBBL|02.
Heather Graham (Age: 20) Perth Scorchers
M: 12 Runs: 222 Avg: 37 HS: 39* Wickets: 8
Perhaps nobody has taken their game to the next level as much as Heather Graham this season. Batting in the middle order, her ability to guide the Scorchers home in tight run chases has been second to none. The 20-year-old is the third leading run-scorer for the Scorchers, but the most significant part of her successful season is that she has scored the runs whenever the top-order has failed.
Graham has also managed to pick up eight wickets bowling her craft off-breaks during the middle overs. With the big finals campaign, Graham will likely to push for a place in the Southern Stars upcoming series against New Zealand and their World Cup campaign later this year.
Sophie Molineux (Age: 18) Melbourne Renegades
M:12 Runs:213 Avg: 23.66 HS: 37* Wickets: 8 BB: 4-18
Sophie Molineux has almost become a cult hero in WBBL|02 with her performances with the bat, ball and in the field. Starting off in the middle-order, the 18-year-old’s stunning batting assured her a promotion to the opening slot midway through the season. Her brutal assault against English quicks Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole under the roof at Etihad was one of the highlights of the season.
Bowling her left-arm spin Molineux showed her immense talent on the opening round of the WBBL|02, picking up four wickets in just her second outing. To top it all off, Molineux inflicted three run-outs via direct hits from the inner circle and also took couple of brilliant catches.
Jemma Barsby (Age: 21) Brisbane Heat
M: 12 Runs: 93 Avg 18.60 HS:36 Wickets: 15 Avg: 15.73 BB: 4-13
The ambidextrous Jemma Barsby has shown plenty of promise with the bat and ball for the Heat. Batting in the lower-middle order, Barsby had resurrected the Heat’s innings on several occasions with some innovative knocks.
It is Barsby’s bowling that has brought her into the limelight. Not afraid to bowl during the crunch situations, she has still been willing to give the ball plenty of air to deceive the batters with her crafty off-spinners. Her match-winning spell of 4-0-22-2 against the Melbourne Stars, when they required 42 from 47 balls with 10 wickets in hand, showcased her immense skill and talent.
Georgia Redmyane (Age:23) Hobart Hurricanes
M: 12 Runs 245 Avg: 26.66 Catches: 12 Stumpings: 5
Wicketkeeper Georgia Redmayne has been an instrumental force at the top of the order for the Hurricanes. The left-hander has hit 31 fours from her 12 matches to play the anchor role perfectly. The former New South Wales batter is elegant, possesses all the shots and is one of the best timers of the cricket ball. She is the third leading run-scorer for the Hurricanes trailing her international team mates Heather Knight and Amy Satterthwaite by only 11 and 5 runs respectively.
Apart from her batting, her glove work behind the stumps has been exemplary. She has looked a complete natural, taking catches down the leg-side and pulling off some remarkable stumpings.