Six factors that will decide the WBBL|09 Final

Key strengths, conditions, momentum and international players are all factors that will decide whether the Strikers or Heat lift the Weber WBBL trophy

The Heat’s batters

The Heat boast the strongest batting unit in WBBL|09, setting up a mouth-watering contest against the Strikers’ bowling attack.

Brisbane have compiled 11 totals in excess of 150 from 16 games this season, more than any other team. They have also been the fastest scoring team in WBBL|09, going at 8.42 runs per over.

Eleven of the Heat's players have scored at better than the tournament average batting strike rate of 117.79, and six of those – including tailenders – are striking above 140: Grace Harris (486 runs at 171), Charli Knott (263 at 147), Laura Harris (55 at 220), Jess Jonassen (45 at 144), Mikayla Hinkley (45 at 141) and Nicola Hancock (30 at 143).

Harris hits rapid fifty to lay foundation for Heat

Even though the powerful Laura Harris was not available until their final regular season game due to a calf injury, the Heat have still scored 58 per cent of their 2,608 runs from boundaries in WBBL09 – the best rate of any team in a single season in the history of the competition.

Further, their total of 2,608 runs is 281 more than any other team has logged in a single edition.

The Strikers’ bowlers

Conversely, the Strikers – who possess an all-star attack featuring Darcie Brown, Megan Schutt, Amanda-Jade Wellington and Tahlia McGrath among others – have been the most economical team of the tournament, limiting scoring against them to 6.48rpo.

Seven of the eight bowlers they have used this season have gone at better than the season average economy rate of 7.39 runs per over.

It makes for incredible reading: Darcie Brown (economy of 4.12), Amanda-Jade Wellington (5.6), Megan Schutt (6.16), Tahlia McGrath (6.19), Anesu Mushangwe (6.44), Georgia Adams (6.5) and Jemma Barsby (6.84).

Brown tears through Scorchers' top-order

Their eighth bowler was only a tick above that average, too – Dani Gibson (7.47).

And if the Heat are in all-time territory with the bat, so too are the Strikers with the ball.

Adelaide have a bowling strike rate of 16.2 in WBBL09, the best of any team in a single season in the history of the competition.

"Our bowling is absolutely our strength," Strikers captain Tahlia McGrath said.

"We've got so much variety in our attack, the pace of Darce, the swing of Schutter, two leggies that are completely different and then throw in myself and a couple of offies.

"We can pick match-ups for every batter because we cover all bases, so we keep our bowling plans really simple and are able to execute plans."

The preparation

The Strikers finished six points clear on top of the table and deservedly earned a week off and the right to advance directly to the final.

McGrath’s team flew back from Sydney on Monday and had a day off on Tuesday, before an intense training session on Wednesday that included an intra-squad hit out. They topped off their preparations on Thursday and Friday – including a captain’s run on Adelaide Oval No.2 – and crucially, had a chance to recharge and spend time in their own beds leading into the final.

The Heat, on the other hand, left Brisbane on Sunday night for the five-hour flight to Perth.

They played the Thunder in The Eliminator on Tuesday and backed up a day later to thrash the Scorchers in The Challenger.

The Brisbane squad arrived in Adelaide on Thursday and had one final training session on Friday.

Their manic week is a strong contrast to the Strikers’ preparations, but Jonassen said her team was riding a wave of momentum.

"No, it’s not a disadvantage at all," she said. "To be honest, we actually weren't too displeased that we were going to Perth because it meant that we actually got the opportunity to play – the forecast in Sydney was diabolical.

"For us to be able to be in control of how and when our season ends, we were more than happy to play and we didn't really mind where we were playing.

"All teams have been in a similar position with the amount of travel this season and we've got some really good momentum at an ideal and opportunistic time so looking to go for one more."

The international availability 

Both teams are in the same boat when it comes to their overseas players.

The Strikers have lost England allrounder Danielle Gibson, who has left to join her teammates in Mumbai ahead of their tour of India. But the Strikers’ other English player, Georgia Adams, is not in that squad and has remained in Adelaide, while Cricket South Africa has given Laura Wolvaardt clearance to stay for the final, even though the Proteas begin a T20 series on Sunday.

"We're stoked about that," McGrath said.

"She's missing an international game to play the final for us so we're hugely grateful and she's been a part of our side for four years now and an extremely important part of our side, so we're stoked she's going to be walking out there and opening the batting for us.

Wolvaardt fine tunes for WBBL final with another big knock

The Heat have lost England batter Bess Heath from their middle-order, and potential inclusions to replace her include local batter Mikayla Hinkley, or quick Lucy Hamilton.

But South African Mignon du Preez is unaffected after retiring from international cricket at the end of last year, and New Zealand allrounder Amelia Kerr has been cleared to remain for the final despite the White Ferns’ beginning a home white-ball series on Sunday.

"We've got some really quality players that have been sitting on the sidelines and biding their time throughout the whole season," Jonassen said. "So I know that whoever comes in, they will be more than prepared."

The momentum

The Strikers are on a five-game winning streak and after a patchy start to their title defence, have won nine of their last 10 matches.

Notably, however, the one loss they have had during that run came against the Heat, when they went down in a final-over thriller in Mackay.

The Heat meanwhile won their first four games, and after 10 matches had a 7-3 record, but they lost their next three matches before fighting back to defeat the Thunder in their last round match, then sealing back-to-back wins to make the final.

Perth Scorchers v Brisbane Heat | Challenger | WBBL|09

"(We’ve won) the last three games and that winning streak started out on (Adelaide Oval)," Jonassen said.

"So we take a lot of confidence out of that.

"We've had different people standing up and firing at different times and that's something we really pride ourselves on as a group and looking for much the same tomorrow night."

The local conditions

The Strikers have not been beaten at home in Adelaide all season, although all bar one of those matches was played at nearby Karen Rolton Oval.

But they were brilliant in front of a vocal home crowd against the Scorchers during the Stadium series, and with a far bigger crowd expected for Saturday, they will have the benefit of familiarity with local conditions and the home support.

"We're stoked that it's a home final," McGrath said.

"We haven't played a grand final in front of a home crowd and we've played some really good games at home this year, I think we're undefeated at home and we love it when we have that crowd supporting us."

The Heat won their only game at Adelaide Oval this season, seeing off the Thunder during the stadium series.

That recent experience will be beneficial, Jonassen said, although she expected the pitch to provide assistance to the Strikers’ bowlers, including leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington, who took 5-8 against the Heat at Adelaide Oval during the WBBL|07 finals.

"The wicket had a little bit of extra grass on it last time," Jonassen said.

"We're probably expecting much the same tomorrow. I think with Adelaide's bowling attack they will probably look to try and get a little bit slower, a little bit of turn for Wello."

WBBL|09 Finals

The Eliminator: Brisbane Heat defeated Sydney Thunder by 44 runs 

The Challenger: Brisbane Heat defeated Perth Scorchers by 67 runs

The Final: Adelaide Strikers v Brisbane Heat | Adelaide Oval | December 2 at 7.10pm AEDT (6.40pm local)

Grab your tickets or tune in on the Seven Network, Fox Cricket, Kayo or ABC radio