Melbourne Stars allrounder Natalie Sciver excited about their first semi-final appearance

Natalie Sciver in action for Melbourne Stars. © Getty Images

Melbourne Stars allrounder Natalie Sciver has said that she is thrilled about playing in the semi-finals for the first time with the club in the history of Women’s Big Bash League. The Stars’ previous best campaigns were when they reached fifth place in the first couple of seasons.

Speaking after their loss against the Sydney Sixers in their final league game on Sunday (November 22), she said, “I was there in the first year. Certainly, when I was in the start that was the closest we got to be in the finals. Took it pretty hard, not being there at the end. It’s going to be a great game on Wednesday, great spectacle and hopefully, we can produce something special.”

Defending 178, the Stars were outdone by Alyssa Healy, who scored a magnificent century to finish the tournament on a high for the Sixers. Speaking about the quality of shots Healy put on display, Sciver said that it would be hard for her to remember as she was at the receiving end.

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“We had a chance to catch her earlier in the innings which is unfortunate to put that down. I mean yeah to play like that is brilliant. She is world-class.”

The English allrounder felt that the Sixers with Ellyse Perry and Healy and the Perth Scorchers with Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney have one of the most destructive opening combinations, adding, “it’s difficult to keep them under control.”

With the Stars taking on the Scorchers in the first semifinal, Sciver was hoping that they would break the partnership early. “Like we actually did here, when we played them the first time, we managed to break that partnership pretty early. So hopefully that’ll be the plan going forward.”

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Sciver lauded the efforts of their head coach Trent Woodhill to keep the players comfortable in training. “He has been mainly working with me just on the technique of hitting big really, and it has been good working with him. He has made sure that we had a good time.”

Elyse Villani, who had some trouble with her hamstring, played a quickfire 45 off 28 balls at the top and set the tone for the rest of the innings. Sciver felt that the strain might have helped Villani in holding her position while playing those shots.

“She did really well. I think that helped well in staying still in her stance and just swing through and hit the ball. She was hitting them pretty clean. I am sure she would have wanted to be there a bit longer.”

On the injury scares for Tess Flintoff and Villani ahead of the semifinal, Sciver said that they are hoping to see them back in action on Wednesday.

“We are hoping that it isn’t too serious. The schedule has been pretty hectic. So, we have done pretty well with the injuries so far. Yeah, fingers crossed for Wednesday for both of them,” she concluded.

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