‘My heart stopped’: Adelaide revel in heart-stopping WBBL title triumph

The Adelaide Strikers are celebrating a heart-stopping three run win over the Brisbane Heat in the WBBL final.

Adelaide Strikers spinner Amanda-Jane Wellington’s heart stopped. Brisbane Heat captain Jess Jonassen’s heart leapt. Strikers captain Tahlia McGrath’s heart was in her mouth.

The entire WBBL season, all 59 games of it, and the cherished trophy – came down to this.

Brisbane needed five runs from two balls to win Saturday night’s final at Adelaide Oval. Heat tailender Mikayla Hinkley had just smashed her first ball for six. Then she went for glory.

Hinkley cracked a Wellington legspinner high and long, towards the mid-off boundary where Jemma Barsby was stationed.

“My heart stopped,” Wellington admitted.

“We all thought on the sidelines that she potentially got it,” Jonassen added.

Near the boundary rope, Barsby took a few steps, then stood still – as time seemingly did. Barsby held her nerve. And held the catch.

“I saw Jemma getting settled under it about two metres in front of boundary. I was like, ‘Oh, come on, just hold it’. [When she did] I let out a big scream of relief and joy,” Wellington said.

“Talk about a high pressure, it doesn’t get much more than that. We all ran up to her and everyone’s just saying, ‘that’s clutch’,” Strikers captain Tahlia McGrath added post-match.

Jonassen: “If her (Hinkley’s) second shot went for two more metres, that’s a Heat victory. T20 cricket – a game of margins.”

Adelaide won by three runs, with Wellington winning player of the match for her 3-16.

The Strikers celebrate on the podium after winning the WBBL Final match between Adelaide Strikers and Brisbane Heat at Adelaide Oval, on December 02, 2023, in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

“I have bowled a fair few last overs and a fair few super-overs as well. I love the crucial moments and the big moments,” she added post game.

“She (Wellington) had this look in her eyes.” McGrath said. “She knew what she wanted to do and then she executed for us. I was very similar to last year.”

Last year, Wellington also bowled the final over in Adelaide’s title win – but she had more breathing space.

Then, the Sydney Sixers needed 23 from the ultimate over. Wellington conceded 12 and took a wicket on the last ball.

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