Proteas skipper Van Niekerk stars as Adelaide reach WBBL final

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Proteas all-rounder Dane van Niekerk for Adelaide Strikers (Getty Images)
Proteas all-rounder Dane van Niekerk for Adelaide Strikers (Getty Images)

Proteas skipper Dane van Niekerk smashed a blistering knock to help the Adelaide Strikers advance to the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) final in Adelaide on Thursday.

In their Challenger match, the Strikers cruised to a nine-wicket victory against the Melbourne Renegades, which will see them face the Perth Scorchers in Saturday's final.

After winning the toss and opting to bowl first, the Renegades got off to a disastrous start as they lost their skipper Josephine Dooley for a golden duck off the first delivery of the game by Megan Schutt (2/23).

The Renegades soon slumped to 83/8 in their innings, with all-rounder Ella Hayward top-scoring with an unbeaten 18. Strikers fast bowler Darcie Brown took two for nine in her four overs.

Needing a mere 84 runs to book their place in the WBBL final, opener Van Niekerk dispatched the Renegades bowling attack as she smashed 43 off 30 balls (5 fours and a six).

Van Niekerk looked to score her third half-century of the season but fell short after slapping Carly Leeson (1/5) to mid-off.

Opener Katie Mack (31*) and Proteas star batter Laura Wolvaardt (9*) saw the Strikers over the finish line as they won with 55 balls to spare.

READ | How the 6 Proteas fared in the Women's Big Bash League group stages

The Adelaide Strikers will now face the Perth Scorchers in the much-anticipated WBBL final on Saturday.

Three South Africans will feature in the WBBL final, with Van Niekerk and Wolvaardt facing Scorchers all-rounder Marizanne Kapp in Perth.

Saturday's final starts at 10:10 (SA time).

Scores in brief:

Melbourne Renegades 83/8 in 20 overs (Ella Hayward 18*, Darcie Brown 2/9, Megan Schutt 2/23)

Adelaide Strikers 86/1 in 10.5 overs (Dane van Niekerk 43, Katie Mack 31*, Carly Leeson 1/5)

Result: Strikers win by nine wickets


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