Photo Credit: Adelaide Strikers
Another Big Bash season is done and it was a pretty successful one for the Adelaide Strikers, with a back-to-back title win and a third-place finish. Relive our best moments below.
There are no surprises with our biggest highlight of the season – the Strikers becoming back-to-back Weber WBBL Champions. Winning 11 out of 14 minor round matches and finishing three games clear at the top of the ladder secured the Strikers a spot straight into the Final with home ground advantage. Playing in front of 12,000 passionate fans at Adelaide Oval, the Final against the Brisbane Heat was a nail-biting affair, with the match coming down to the final over. As she did a year earlier, Amanda-Jade Wellington came in clutch, bowling the final over and defending the total to securing a three-run victory and send the crowd into raptures as captain Tahlia McGrath and coach Luke Williams held up the trophy once again.
The WBBL victory wasn’t the only back-to-back win in the Adelaide Strikers camp during the 2023/24 season, with BBL captain Matt Short earning consecutive Player of the Tournament Awards. In BBL|13, Short made 541 runs in 11 innings, at an average of 60.11 and with a strike-rate of 153.26. That earned him the BKT Golden Bat Award for leading run scorer, as he became the first man in BBL history to score four scores of 70+ in one season. Those numbers not only earned him Player of the Tournament, but also led to him being named captain in the BBL|13 Team of the Tournament as he led his team into the BBL|13 finals.
29 all out
We have to go right back to the very start of the cricketing summer for this moment, when the Strikers bowled out the Melbourne Stars for a record-low of 29 in their opening match of the WBBL|09 season. Before that historic night at Karen Rolton Oval, the lowest WBBL total was 66 and the Strikers smashed that record in front of a home crowd. Megan Schutt took 3-3 off three overs, Amanda-Jade Wellington took 3-4 off two and Anesu Mushangwe and Tahlia McGrath took two wickets each as the Stars were bowled out inside 10 overs, securing the Strikers a 148-run win in the perfect start to their title defence.
When the Strikers left Optus Stadium after a 42-run loss at the start of the New Year, they had slumped to the bottom of the BBL|13 ladder following four consecutive losses. A return to Optus Stadium at the end of January signified a miraculous turnaround – after that loss, the Strikers went on to four consecutive big wins, including beating both the Scorchers and Thunder by nine wickets, to reignite their season and sneak into the top four to earn a spot in the finals. A 50-run win against the reigning Champions in Perth in the Knockout Final finished a whirlwind few weeks and while the Strikers couldn’t progress passed the Challenger into the Final, it was still a remarkable effort given they were at the bottom of the ladder less than three weeks earlier.
‘Big Bash is back’ was the headline read often throughout the months of October to January and it’s no wonder why – massive sixes, classic catches and thrilling run chases peppered the summer and delighted the big crowds returning to the stadiums to cheer on their teams. Over 800,000 fans attended the BBL|13 regular season matches, with a 27 per cent average match attendance increase from BBL|12. Adelaide crowds were a big contributor to those numbers – the Strikers New Year’s Eve crowd of 42,506 was the biggest of the regular season, only beaten by the Final, while 20,000+ attended all other completed matches at Adelaide Oval. At the WBBL Final, over 12,000 fans saw their Strikers win their second consecutive Championship, a crowd three times bigger than the WBBL team had played in front of in their home state. That followed off momentum gathered in the inaugural WBBL Stadium Series match at Adelaide Oval, with more WBBL matches slated for the stadium in the future.