On our skipper’s 27th birthday the Scorchers rose to the challenge in a do-or-die clash and gave her a present she won’t forget anytime soon; singing the song at the end of the match, and a place in the semi-finals.
When the round starts with the Sixers recording their seventh straight victory – this time against ladder leaders Sydney Thunder – and the result bumps the Scorchers down to seventh place, finals don’t really appear possible.
But as everyone continues to preach; nothing is ever safe in T20 nor is it over until the final ball is bowled – and aren’t the Scorchers’ results from the weekend a perfect example of exactly this.
In the last 51 days we’ve watched 59 games take place in the inaugural Rebel Women’s Big Bash League, but the top four couldn’t be separated until the very last fixture was played out.
The four S’s (Stars, Strikers, Sixers, Scorchers) were all in a rat-race at the business end, with only the Hurricanes and Thunder having their semi-finals position secure, and the Renegades unable to make the top four.
Before the final round started Brisbane Heat had played all of their 14 matches, and were in fourth place with seven wins and seven losses.
Unfortunately for the Queenslanders they were pushed down to a sixth-place finish as the teams with fixtures still remaining bunny-hopped them.
The question is though; how did we get from seventh to fourth in one day? The Strikers’ 15-run loss to the Renegades on Sunday morning combined with the Thunder simultaneously downing Meg Lanning’s Stars by six runs, meant if we could defeat the Renegades, we would secure fourth spot.
And defeat – rather demolish – we did.
Over the two matches only Charlotte Edwards, Elyse Villani and Suzie Bates had a crack with the bat, while the rest of the group put their feet up and were treated to classy batting displays.
Villani was Saturday’s Player of the Match for her knock of 72no off 50 (11 fours and one six) and, on Sunday, Edwards was Player of the Match for her 63 off 51 which included eight fours.
Edwards is currently the second-leading run-scorer in WBBL|01 on 444, behind Meg Lanning on 560.
The experience and consistency of Bates was warmly welcomed back, and she put on a great show on Saturday with 42no off 26.
In both matches, the New Zealander was alongside Villani to bring up the winning runs in a cool, calm and collected manner.
Despite the outstanding batting display, our bowlers certainly weren’t shown up.
Across the two matches Katherine Brunt took 2-12 and 2-14, while Nicky Shaw took 2-19 and 3-28.
We think it’s safe to say the skipper won’t be looking to return her birthday present.
“We're over the moon,” Bolton gushed after the semi-final was locked in.
“Pretty ecstatic at the moment to sneak through into the semi-finals - it's been an amazing effort by the girls to back up and play some really good cricket."
The two times the Scorchers met the Thunder in WBBL|01, the Sydneysiders came out on top, but Bolton doesn’t think they’ll be able to do this in the semi-final.
"We had two solid hit outs against them at #TheFurnace and they got the better of us then.
"But I think results at the moment for them show they've probably played under-par and we've got momentum so I think we're going to actually play really well against them."
The clash will be played at Adelaide Oval from 11:40am AWST ahead of the Strikers v TBC BBL semi-final, and will be broadcast live on One HD.