Top order need to stand up and perform for Strikers to make it to the last four, says Tahlia McGrath

Top order need to stand up and perform for Strikers to make it to the last four, says Tahlia McGrath

Madeline Penna has been one of the bright spots for Strikers in WBBL06. © Getty Images

After having notched up a couple of wins on the trot, a seven-wicket loss to Melbourne Renegades on Wednesday (November 18) saw Adelaide Strikers go to number sixth position in the points table of the sixth of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) with five wins from 11 matches to their credit.

Even during those wins it was the lower order that helped Strikers post decent totals on the board, that their bowlers went on to defend, after the top order failed to give the Adelaide side good starts. Allrounder Tahlia McGrath feels if they have to make a run for the semi-finals, then the top order batters including her will have to make it count in the last two rounds of the season.

“We're relying on bottom order too much. The top order needed to stick their hand up and fire. Our bowlers, fielders and bottom order are doing the job. It's time for the top order to score some runs,” McGrath said speaking at the media interaction after the loss to Renegades.

“We've had players stand up at different times, but probably not enough at the top of the order. Still two games to go, hopefully (we get) some big runs from top the order.”

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“A little bit frustrated with my performance getting starts and then throwing it away, so frustrating. I need to put my hand up and score some runs at the top. So, yeah, hopefully runs to come.”

West Indies international Stafanie Taylor has been batting at number five for the Strikers during the season and there have been talks about how pushing her up the order could solve their top order troubles. But McGrath feels everyone in the line-up is capable of scoring runs, it’s just a matter of clicking together as a team.

“We know that everyone is capable with bat in hand. It's just about clicking and gelling. And no matter what the order is, I'm pretty confident that we can put in a complete performance,” she said.

Strikers woes were compounded by the absence of their regular skipper and opener Suzie Bates, who was ruled out for the season after re-injuring her right shoulder during the solitary match she featured in the season. McGrath said while Bates has been influential among the group, they have been missing her presence on the field.

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“She's a big player to replace. She's been awesome around the group on the sidelines, still playing that part. But her presence on the field has been missed,” said the 25-year-old.

Madeline Penna has been one of the bright spots for the runners-up of the last edition. She has been instrumental in rescuing Strikers from early batting collapses in multiple times. She scored an unbeaten 56 on Tuesday, her maiden fifty in WBBL, and another 13-ball 26 not out during the Renegades match. McGrath lauded Penna for her big-hitting prowess but reiterated the need for the top order to support her providing good starts.

“She's done that on numerous occasions. Just to have someone like that come in and finish off the innings is a huge confidence boost. She's done it time and time again,” McGrath said while marvelling about the big six Penna hit during her knock.

“It's awesome. We bat really deep and just the confidence we have that anyone that goes out they can score runs certainly makes you, allows you to play with freedom at the top of the order. They've been awesome for us. Once we get the top order going, we know that we got them, a bit of firepower to finish off the innings for us."