Adelaide Strikers Women 156 for 4 (Wolvaardt 47, Patterson 45*, Knott 1-27) beat Brisbane Heat Women 154 for 8 (A Kerr 43, L Harris 33, Schutt 3-26) by six wickets
Bridget Patterson's late hitting under pressure powered Adelaide Strikers to a tense six-wicket victory over a sloppy Brisbane Heat and into a second straight WBBL final.
The Challenger was a see-saw of a contest with Strikers riding their luck in a nervy chase, with Patterson and Madeline Penna the heroes to spark jubilant scenes at Adelaide's Karen Rolton Oval.
Heat had their chances but rued four dropped catches as Strikers eye redemption for last season's final heartbreak when they meet Sydney Sixers on Saturday at North Sydney Oval.
Patterson steps up at the death
Strikers gambled and held off taking the power surge until the 18th over with 33 runs still needed. It proved a masterstroke after they scored 24 runs culminating in a huge six over deep square leg from Patterson, who was unruffled by the situation.
It meant nine runs were needed off the last over with Heat skipper Jess Jonassen backing legspinner Amelia Kerr with the season on the line. But it was Penna who swatted consecutive boundaries to get Strikers over the line with two balls to spare in redemption for her after enduring heartbreak during last season's WBBL final against Perth Scorchers.
Heat's poor fielding proves costly
Perhaps they were tired after having to back up from last night's victory in the Eliminator over Hobart Hurricanes, but Heat had only themselves to blame.
After grabbing the early wickets of Katie Mack and skipper Tahlia McGrath, dropped catches in the outfield from Courtney Grace Sippel proved costly.
Deandra Dottin, particularly, relished her second chance as she piled more misery on Sippel with a six amid a scoring spree to get Strikers in a decent position at the halfway point.
Dottin's cameo ended when she fell to the spin of Jonassen and was brilliantly caught by wicketkeeper Georgia Redmayne. But disaster struck when Redmayne injured her left calf after celebrating the dismissal. She hobbled off the ground and was substituted out of the game, as Heat had to regroup quickly.
But their poor fielding, which spilt over from a sloppy effort against Hurricanes, haunted them as they fell agonizingly short.
Strikers crash through Heat's strong top-order
At the beginning of the do-or-die match, it loomed as a contest between Strikers' brilliant attack and the dynamic batting of Heat.
Seamer Darcie Brown menaced with inswing to trouble Redmayne, who had looked rusty against Hurricanes in her return from a hamstring injury.
Redmayne continued to look a shadow of the player who had dominated earlier in the season, before a confidence boosting boundary through square leg. But she was bowled by Brown on the next delivery attempting the same shot, as Heat slumped to 13 for 2 in the third over.
Grace Harris consolidated and hit a beautiful cut to the boundary off legspinner Amanda-Jade Wellington, who was looking for a statement after her shock omission from Australia's T20I tour of India next month.
But Grace fell in the eighth over leaving Heat shakily placed at 43-3.
Laura Harris provides the fireworks again
After Amelia helped steady the ship, Heat needed a lift from Laura Harris who again obliged with power-hitting.
She turned the game against Hurricanes with 44 off 14 balls and almost replicated that here with a 14-ball 33, mixing belligerence with finesse after coming to the crease at 88-4 after 14 overs. She smashed Brown for four boundaries in the 17th over, but her best shot might have been an outrageous switch hit off Schutt that rocketed to the deep third boundary.
Schutt exacted revenge on the next ball, but Laura's pyrotechnics helped lift Heat to a competitive total. But in the end it proved not enough.