Brisbane Heat allrounder Jess Jonassen has declared her team’s ‘not done yet’ after surpassing preseason expectations to make their first Rebel WBBL final.
Despite a playing roster that doesn’t boast the same international star power of their upcoming opponents Sydney Sixers, or the team they vanquished in the semi-finals, Sydney Thunder, the Heat have been a force to be reckoned with in WBBL|04.
They finished the home-and-away season third on the table with the league’s highest net run rate, thanks largely to the big-hitting of powerful opener Grace Harris and new first drop Sammy-Jo Johnson, who have formed a potent top three alongside Australian opener Beth Mooney.
“It’s really special already,” Jonassen told cricket.com.au of making the Big Bash final.
“It’s something we’ve worked really hard towards from the start of the Big Bash, not only this year but the years prior to that.
“In a lot of people’s minds this year we’ve overachieved, but we’re definitely not done yet thankfully.”
The Heat filled just two of their three overseas slots for the season and have barely called upon South African pair Laura Wolvaardt and Sune Luus – the latter not part of their semi-final XI, the former required to bat just eight times in 13 matches.
Instead, it’s been their Australian stars – Mooney, Jonassen and allrounder Delissa Kimmince – and domestic players led by Harris, Johnson, spinner Jemma Barsby and newcomer Josie Dooley who’ve stepped up to produce their best season to date.
“I think that’s what held us in good stead across the competition, we haven’t had to rely on one or two players to take all the wickets or score all the runs,” Jonassen said.
“It gives an element of belief in the team that anyone can stand up on any given day and do the job.
“Hopefully in the final everyone can fire at the same time.”
Jonassen came into WBBL|04 lacking match practice after undergoing knee surgery in September, spending the T20 World Cup carrying drinks after being unable to break back into Australia’s best XI at the tournament in the Caribbean.
Australia will meet New Zealand in an ODI series beginning in Perth on February 22, but Jonassen says she’s pushed international cricket to the back of her mind as she focuses her full attention on helping the Heat upset the Sixers at Drummoyne Oval on Saturday.
“T20 cricket always hard because sometimes it can feel like it’s coming out really well and you still get pogoed around the ground,” she said.
“But the beauty of this competition is we’re still in it and we’ve still got one more game and hopefully we’ll finish off well.
“To be honest I’ve tried not to think about (international cricket) too much, with the World Cup and not managing to break back into the team, I’ve tried not to think about the tours coming up too much.
“I’m just thinking about what I can do for the Brisbane Heat and that’ll be no different this week.”
The Heat and Sixers will meet in the first standalone WBBL final on Saturday at Drummoyne Oval, with the action kick off at 10.10am AEDT.
Tickets are now on sale, with adults $10, concession $5 and children free.
All proceeds from the ticket sales will go towards Dolly’s Dream, a charity supporting the fight against bullying.