Strikers smash their way into WBBL final

Darcie Brown played a starring role as the Adelaide Strikers progressed to the WBBL final.
Darcie Brown played a starring role as the Adelaide Strikers progressed to the WBBL final.

The Adelaide Strikers have belted their way into the WBBL final with a crushing nine-wicket win over the Melbourne Renegades.

The home side dominated Thursday night's 'Challenger' match at Adelaide Oval from the outset and never relented, bringing up the victory with 55 balls to spare.

After winning the toss and electing to field, the Strikers restricted the Renegades to a paltry 8-83 - the fourth-lowest total in their history - to book their spot in Saturday night's decider against the Perth Scorchers.

Strikers openers Dane van Niekerk (43) and Katie Mack (31 not out) were intent on having as much rest as possible before the final, treating the Renegades' demoralised bowling attack with disdain.

Van Niekerk copped a nasty hit to the hand but managed to bat on before being caught 12 runs short of the target.

"It's incredible because we had four losses somewhere in the middle of the season," van Niekerk told the Seven Network.

"It's very hard to think you could make a final if that happens, but everyone stayed positive and backed their preparation.

"Just incredible performances from the entire squad."

The Renegades were immediately under pressure, with Strikers quick Megan Schutt (2-23) on song from the first ball of the match.

The Australian international produced an outstanding inswinger to bowl makeshift Renegades opener Josie Dooley.

It did not get any better for the Renegades as all Strikers bowlers got in on the action.

Spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington, who produced the best bowling figures in WBBL history in Wednesday night's 'Eliminator' victory over Brisbane Heat, claimed the key scalp of Jess Duffin to overtake Jess Jonassen as the tournament's leading wicket-taker.

Schutt's opening partner Darcie Brown was just as lethal, finishing with economical figures of 2-9.

Not even Indian star Harmanpreet Kaur, who was named as the tournament's leading player, could rescue the Renegades as she was trapped lbw for seven.

Sophie Molineux did not bat after opening for much of the tournament and the Renegades captain is believed to be carrying an injury.

Renegades bowler Holly Ferling, who played 34 times for Australia across three formats, was seen leaving the field in tears in what was expected to be her final game of cricket.

The Scorchers finished the tournament on top of the table and will go into the decider as warm favourites playing in front of their home crowd.

Australian Associated Press