|| AFP ||
Tight bowling helped propel Tahlia McGrath's Adelaide Strikers to a nail-biting three-run win over Brisbane Heat for a second straight women's Big Bash League title on Saturday.
Jess Jonassen's Heat restricted the Strikers to a modest 125-5 off their 20 overs after losing the bat flip at Adelaide Oval.
The home side had looked on track for a decent total on 71-2 at halfway but managed just 54 runs in the last 10 overs, with a clinical Nicola Hancock the pick of the bowlers with 3-23.
Heat's hard work went to waste in the run chase, with the visitors compiling just 122-8 with player-of-the-match Amanda-Jade Wellington taking 3-16 and Megan Schutt 2-30 in a game decided on the last ball.
"This is such a special team, seriously, everyone knows their roles," said skipper McGrath. "We have so much fun and we keep showing up. I'm so proud of this group."
It was the Strikers' second consecutive title in the tournament's ninth season, having beaten the Sydney Sixers in last year's decider.
The Strikers had a mixed start to the season but have been a near unstoppable force since, winning 10 their past 11 games. Their only loss during that run was against the Heat.
"A bit emotional to be honest. A few tears out there," said Schutt.
"We set out a bold goal last year to go back-to-back and to achieve it is amazing."
Jonassen acknowledged the Strikers had been "the benchmark of the competition all year".
"To our girls, commiserations. I'm super proud of you all, we've worked very hard just to get to this moment," she said. "Keep your heads up, I know it hurts, but we'll be back bigger and better and stronger next year."
The 13th season of the men's Big Bash League starts on December 7.