They are again led by Heather Knight who in the shadow of Smriti Mandhana has had a fantastic season. Knight is a fantastic leader and even when she isn’t at the top of her game gets the best out of players around her.
She has a lot of experience leading teams in this format. While other factors derailed Hobart Hurricanes in the WBBL, she was missed as both a player and captain when she didn’t play last year.
Western Storm will go into finals day without their leading run scorer Smriti Mandhana who has set the competition on fire setting records along the way. She will instead be at a training camp with India national team. They are far from a one player side though with Priest and Stafanie Taylor, they still have two explosive players and match winners.
Priest was the player of the match in last season’s final. She has also had plenty to prove as she has played international cricket since the World Cup. It has been a surprise to many but this is her opportunity to prove her doubters wrong.
It would be fair to say that Western Storm are a side that prefers to chase. Their three defeats this year have come from batting first. What will concern Western Storm is that those defeats have come at the hands of the two sides that make up the finals day line-up.
That puts added pressure on the bowling and in Anya Shrubsole they have a bowler that knows all about pressure. She will need the other bowlers to step up and help her.
Freya Davies is capable of doing that and Clare Nicholas also had a standout finals day last year. They will need to use all their experience and help the likes of Danielle Gibson to shine.
Even without Mandhana, it would be hard not to consider Western Storm favourites to retain their title.