The WBBL stars now pushing for Australia selection
With the WBBL|06 done and dusted it's time to put the selector hat on and have a look at the best domestic talent who are pushing for higher honours
It's fair to say the Rebel WBBL|06 season had it all. We saw wash outs, reverse paddles for six, elite fast bowling, big hits and classic catches of the type normally only seen jumping into a swimming pool to snare that tapped up tennis ball you'd spent hours perfecting.
The Sydney Thunder were crowned champions despite many not having had them in their predictions to finish in the top four. The performance of their recruits in combination with their youth, who performed even better than their breakout WBBL|05 season, was perfectly led by one of the great leaders in Australian cricket in Rachael Haynes.
The Melbourne Stars were so good, going from the bottom of the ladder last summer to the top this year, and they have plenty to be proud of despite not getting over the line in the final. That should give great hope to teams like the Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Renegades that they could 'go vertical' as the Sydney Sixers would say.
With the tournament done and dusted, I'd like to reflect on some of our domestic talent who I believe have given the Australian selectors plenty to think about at the next selection meeting and could push for higher honours.
Hannah Darlington Sydney Thunder
Matches: 14 | Wickets: 19 | Econ: 6.19 | Ave: 13.68 | BB: 3-19
Darlington has proven herself as a bowler who can put the brakes on any batting innings, whether it is bowling through the middle overs or finishing at the death. Her ability to nail the yorker and bowl stump-to-stump made her critical to the Thunder's success. We didn't see much of her from a batting perspective, but all reports suggest she has plenty to offer making her a good all-round option.
Sammy-Jo Johnson Sydney Thunder
Matches: 16 | Wickets: 22 | Econ: 6.63 | Ave: 14.81 | BB: 4-26
Three titles in three seasons for two different teams and one incredible story. To make the decision to leave a successful team to pursue a dream of playing cricket for Australia is something I admire. To not only make the decision but to go and dominate for another team makes her all class. You could tell from her performance in the final just how good she is; her pace and swing is a great combination before adding in the slower balls and bouncers. Her variety means she can bowl in any phase which helps her national ambitions.
Laura Kimmince Brisbane Heat
Matches: 14 | Runs: 177| SR: 205.81| 4s: 19 | 6s: 12 | Ave: 22.12| HS: 41
Kimmence gave WBBL|06 something we have never seen before. The reverse paddle for six was just about my highlight of the entire tournament, but it is her striking straight down the ground and ability to clear the rope seemingly with ease that has everyone excited. To have power-hitters at the back end of the innings is absolute gold, but what made Kimmence a standout for me was that she finished games that looked lost for the Heat. She plays without fear, which is great to watch, and her catching was elite giving her that all important second string to her bow.
Darcie Brown Adelaide Strikers
Matches: 12 | Wickets: 10 | Econ: 5.52 | Ave: 22.10 | BB: 3-13
The pace bowlers led the way in this tournament and Brown performed like she had been playing WBBL for years. Her pace was outstanding, as was her control. To pick up wickets and have an economy of less than six runs per over points to a very bright future. I enjoyed watching her combination with Megan Schutt, and perhaps this will be a future opening combination for Australia one day...
Taneale Peschel Perth Scorchers
Matches: 14 | Wickets: 13 | Econ: 6.13 | Ave: 21.69 | BB: 2-5
Peschel had a stand-out season in WBBL|06 and really lead the attack for the Perth Scorchers. Like Brown, she was able to pick up wickets with a low economy rate of little more than six. She bowled the clutch overs for the Scorchers and I believe she will be just as effective for Western Australia when the WNCL returns in early 2021. She has plenty of experience which could make her a good fit in the Australian side as an injury replacement if the opportunity presented.
There is no doubt I have gone pace bowler heavy in the above list, and that is a compliment to all of the pace bowlers in WBBL|06. Spin had previously dominated the conversation, but the pace bowlers have raised the bar this tournament. I hope we will be talking about the spinners again in WBBL|07, but in reality we all know it is a batter's game!