WBBL 2023-24 – Georgia Voll backs Heat as ‘perfect team’ to stop Strikers back-to-back bid

Allrounder Georgia Voll believed an aggressive Brisbane Heat were the “perfect team” to upend defending champions Adelaide Strikers despite a gruelling run to the WBBL final.

Heat stormed into Saturday’s final at the Adelaide Oval after thrashing Sydney Thunder and Perth Scorchers on consecutive days at the WACA. After a late season three-game losing streak cost them a top two finish and a home final, Heat on Sunday night embarked on a five-and-a-half hour flight from Brisbane to Perth.

After recovery and a light training session on Monday, Heat then played inspired cricket and relished a bouncy WACA surface to keep alive their bid for a third WBBL title.

They showed no signs of fatigue in their commanding performances, but on Thursday will board a three-hour flight to Adelaide before a quick turnaround for the final.

“It won’t bother us. It’s great we’ve actually carried some momentum,” said offspinner Voll, who took WBBL career best figures of 4 for 19 against Scorchers. “I love playing a lot of cricket. We’ve had a bit of ups and downs through the year, but we’re picking up momentum at the right time.

“So I think it’s done us really good having to play the two games.”

In Perth, Heat played an irresistible brand of cricket with Grace Harris‘ fireworks in the powerplay building the foundations for big totals after they batted first. Seamers Nicola Hancock and Courtney Sippel ripped through Thunder before Voll and fellow spinner Jess Jonassen took over against Scorchers.

“It’s going be a challenge, but I think we’ve got the perfect team to roll them,” Voll said. “Our balance in the batting…we pretty much bat all the way down to 11.

“We back our skill to go hard pretty much all the way through. With the bowling we back our two quicks and the spinners to defend or set the tone.

“It will be a great final. I think they’ll have a crowded Adelaide Oval, it will be an awesome atmosphere and hopefully we can knock them over one more time.”

Heat will be without batter Bess Heath, who will depart for England’s imminent tour of India. “Bess has been a massive part of our team. She’s a big loss but whoever will fill that spot will do a great job,” Voll said.

There will be extra spice in the final between teams who have won three of the last five titles after Strikers seamer Megan Schutt last year labelled Heat’s style of play as a “bit arrogant”.

“It’s kind of like the pot calling the kettle black, isn’t it?” Harris said. “I don’t really read too much into it and it doesn’t bother me too much because you can do all the talking you want…it comes down to how you go out on the field.”

Harris looms as a key in the final after emerging from a form slump and igniting Heat in Perth with 99 runs off 55 balls across the two games.

“I’m a strike-rate batter…[aim to] strike at 180-200. You will be inconsistent, but happy to own that role. We want to play an aggressive brand of cricket. It’s about scoring shots and not getting worried about getting out. If we’re out for 80 then bugger it, but if we score 197 then that’s our game plan and we have got to stick to that.

“If we put in a complete performance [in the final] then we will definitely be competitive.”

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