Heat book date with Strikers after eliminating Hurricanes

Harris cameo lifts Heat before Jonassen grabs four

Brisbane Heat are one step away from another WBBL Final appearance after blasting their way past Hobart Hurricanes in Wednesday’s Eliminator in Adelaide.

Blazing knocks from Danni Wyatt (52 off 48) and Laura Harris (44 off 14) powered the Heat to 7-179, the highest ever score in a WBBL play-off game, despite the best efforts of teenage leg-spinner Amy Smith ( 3-21), who claimed wickets at crucial moments to briefly stem the onslaught.

Jess Jonassen (4-23) then led the way with the ball as the Hurricanes were restricted to 9-135, sealing a 44-run win and setting up a massive Thursday night showdown against the Adelaide Strikers at Karen Rolton Oval.

The winner of that match will advance to Saturday’s final against the Sydney Sixers.

Sent into bat by the Hurricanes, Wyatt picked up where she left off in Moe on Sunday and it was all-time leading WBBL wicket-taker Molly Strano who bore the brunt of her bullish start, her first two overs going for 24 runs.

Wyatt fifty gets Heat off to bright start

Wyatt and opening partner Georgia Redmayne, who looked a tad rusty after missing four matches due to a hamstring complaint, put on 34 runs off the four-over Powerplay to lay a solid foundation.

Ruth Johnston made the first breakthrough, removing Redmayne (14 off 13) in the sixth over, but Wyatt carried on her attack, hitting six fours and two sixes before 18-year-old Smith intervened, bowling the English star in the 10th over.

Smith had a second four balls later when she trapped Grace Harris (1) lbw, leaving the Heat 3-72 at the halfway mark.

But just as the Hurricanes looked to be wrestling back momentum, Laura Harris arrived in the middle.

Laura Harris lights up Eliminator with a brutal cameo

The powerful right-hander hit an 18-ball half-century against the Hurricanes earlier in the tournament and she was in a similar mood tonight, finding the boundary off the first ball she faced.

Harris joined forces with Georgia Voll (17) as the pair put on 54 runs in 3.3 overs, including 36 runs off the Power Surge, with Hayley Jensen, Heather Graham, Maisy Gibson and Nicola Carey all coming in for the Harris treatment.

She was threatening to break Tess Flintoff’s 16-ball record fastest fifty before Carey intervened, bowling her in the 15th over.

Her departure triggered a wobble as Jess Jonassen (1) and Voll quickly followed, but a superb lower-order finish from Charli Knott (23no off 16) and Nicola Hancock (15no off 9) helped the Heat to a mammoth total.

The Hurricanes made a positive start to their chase, racing to 0-37 off the first four overs after captain Elyse Villani restored herself to the top of the order.

But a promising opening stand of 61 with Lizelle Lee was broken when a mix-up had Villani run out for 25.

Lee had looked ominous as she closed in on a half century, but as the required rate crept toward 12 an over the pressure got the better of the South African, who slashed a simple catch off the bowling of Courtney Sippel to Jess Kerr.

Needing 99 off 51, the Heat continued to pile the pressure on Mignon du Preez (14) and Nicola Carey (10) and while a mighty blow over the boundary from Heather Graham (21) gave the Hurricanes something to cheer about, the hefty target proved beyond Hobart’s reach.

Hurricanes are returning to a recent happy hunting ground in Karen Rolton Oval, having won both games they played there during the regular season, including a rain-affected victory over the Heat.

WBBL|08 Finals

The Eliminator: Brisbane Heat defeat Hobart Hurricanes by 44 runs

The Challengers: Adelaide Strikers v Brisbane Heat | Karen Rolton Oval | November 24, 7.10pm AEDT (6.40pm local)

The Final: Sydney Sixers v TBC | North Sydney Oval | November 26 at 5.20pm AEDT

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