Sophie divine again as Strikers reach WBBL Final
Kiwi superstar anchors Adelaide's run chase to end Perth's season and secure a spot in Sunday's WBBL final
Laura Jolly at Allan Border Field
7 December 2019, 02:17 PM AEST
The result: Perth Scorchers 7-126 (Redmayne 51, Barsby 31; Schutt 2-14) lost to Adelaide Strikers 2-130 (Devine 65no, McGrath 36) by eight wickets with 11 balls remaining at Allan Border Field
The match in a tweet: Sophie Devine stars with bat and ball as the Strikers seal a spot in their first WBBL decider!
The Devine intervention: Sophie Devine was crowned WBBL|05 Player of the Tournament earlier this week and her performance on the semi-final stage on Saturday showed exactly why. First, she captured 2-23 from her four overs with the ball – including the enormous wicket of Scorchers captain Meg Lanning - before smacking an unbeaten 65 from just 46 balls to put her team through to their first WBBL final. The big-hitting Kiwi has long had a reputation for her crash and bash style of play, but this innings also showed off the patience she’s added to her repertoire. The Strikers were tied down early and she lost her opening partner Suzie Bates in the second over, but Devine kept her cool, putting on 79 for the second wicket with Tahlia McGrath (36). Even when the Scorchers started to dry up the runs, pushing the required rate up to eight an over with five overs remaining, Devine timed the chase to perfection, bringing up her ninth fifty of the season from 39 balls before sealing victory with a powerfully-struck drive.
The Sharp Schutter: There’s a reason Megan Schutt is the world’s top-ranked T20 International bowler and her performance on the big stage demonstrated why. After her early pressure helped the Strikers conjure the key wicket of Lanning, she put the Strikers well and truly on top with a double strike in the fifth over, removing Chloe Piparo (6) and Nicole Bolton (12) with consecutive balls. It left the Scorchers in dire trouble at 3-26 at the end of the Power Play and while there was no hat-trick when she returned to bowl the 19th over, she finished with outstanding figures of 2-14.
Two wickets in two balls for @megan_schutt 😮 Scorchers on the ropes at 3-23 (5.0).LIVE: bigbash/WBBL05-SF-1 #WBBLFinals pic.twitter.com/e3NPplwj20— Rebel Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) December 7, 2019
The moment: Lanning’s wicket was always going to be the key one for the Strikers, especially with the loss of English internationals Nat Sciver and Amy Jones to international duties, and the Lanning-Schutt match-up was a major point of discussion through the week. What transpired was eerily reminiscent of when the teams met at the same venue early in the season; Schutt delivered the first over, troubling Lanning – including one very close shout for lbw – before Devine reaped the reward the next over. Whereas she castled Lanning first time around, this time she threw it out wide, enticing Lanning into a mis-timed drive that was snapped up by Alex Price at gully, the Australian captain out for one.
The BIGGEST of blows for the Scorchers. Sophie Devine dismisses Meg Lanning for 1 in the second over of the day. Scorchers 1-8 (2.0), LIVE: https://t.co/sx13E4r252 #WBBLFinals pic.twitter.com/cxudRjRbUk— Rebel Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) December 7, 2019
The consolation effort: Georgia Redmayne had yet to fire with the bat in her first season in orange but she stepped up superbly under pressure. Elevated to No.4 in the absence of the English imports, the pressure was immense after her team lost three wickets in the Power Play but Redmayne steadied before accelerating, hitting her first half-century of the season from 41 deliveries – including clearing the boundary for the first time in a Big Bash game – before being run out on 51.
A gutsy 5⃣0⃣ from Georgia Redmayne when her team needed it most! 💪 #WBBLFinals pic.twitter.com/nBbpeSpQHn— Rebel Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) December 7, 2019
The gutsy knock: The hot and humid Brisbane weather was always going to make for tough conditions, with a forecast top of 39 degrees Celsius, but it caused a particularly tough situation for Scorchers allrounder Jemma Barsby, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, a condition exacerbated by extreme heat. Speaking on the mic while batting, Barsby revealed she had made the decision to play despite the forecast. Coming to the crease with her team 3-26 in the Power Play, she shared in a crucial 88-run stand with Redmayne – the highest fourth-wicket partnership in Scorchers history - before eventually being bowled by Devine for a 37-ball 31 in the 18th over.
The drops: Desperately searching for a second breakthrough, Heather Graham thought she’d achieved exactly that when McGrath, on 21, looked to have hit the ball straight down the throat of Bolton on the boundary, only for the experienced Australian international to put it down. Bolton later got hands to a second, albeit much tougher, overhead chance to grant Devine a life on 47.
The Final: The Strikers will meet the winner of the afternoon’s second semi-final between Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Renegades at Allan Border Field tomorrow at 1.40pm local time (2.40pm AEDT). The match will be broadcast on free-to-air television on 7mate, with coverage also on Fox Cricket, Kayo and via the CA Live app, or listen on ABC radio.
Adelaide Strikers XI: Suzie Bates (c), Sophie Devine, Tahlia McGrath, Bridget Patterson, Katie Mack, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Tegan McPharlin (wk), Annie O'Neil, Sarah Coyte, Megan Schutt, Alex Price
Perth Scorchers XI: Nicole Bolton, Meg Lanning (c), Chloe Piparo, Georgia Redmayne (wk), Heather Graham, Jemma Barsby, Mathilda Carmichael, Kim Garth, Samantha Betts, Taneale Peschel, Kath Hempenstall