Scorchers can cover overseas void: Lanning
Perth Scorchers skipper Lanning optimistic her side can cover the departures of Amy Jones and Nat Sciver in this weekend's semi-finals
3 December 2019, 06:16 PM AEST
Perth Scorchers captain Meg Lanning is confident her squad has the depth to cover departed internationals Nat Sciver and Amy Jones in this weekend’s Rebel WBBL semi-final against the Adelaide Strikers in Brisbane.
Sciver and Jones have been called away for England’s limited-overs series against Pakistan in Malaysia, leaving the Scorchers with just one overseas player – Irish quick Kim Garth – for the match at Allan Border Field.
WBBL Finals: Allan Border Field
First semi-final: Strikers v Scorchers, Saturday 10.10am (11.10am AEDT)
Second semi-final: Heat v Renegades, Saturday 1.50pm (2.50pm AEDT)
Final: SF1 v SF2, Sunday 1.40pm (2.40pm AEDT)
Tune in to the WBBL finals on the Seven Network, Fox Cricket, Kayo, the CA Live app or listen on ABC radio
It’s a blow for the Scorchers, with Jones (391 runs at 32.58) their most prolific scorer behind Lanning and Sciver not far behind with 342 at 38.
To help prepare, Georgia Redmayne took the gloves from Jones for Perth’s last two matches, while the Scorchers left the English pair on the sidelines for their final game of the regular season on Sunday.
Their absence did not stop the Scorchers recording a 36-run win over the Hobart Hurricanes thanks to Lanning’s first Big Bash century.
Nicole Bolton replaced Jones at the top of the order alongside Lanning and scored 44 off 46 balls, combining with Lanning in a 144-run stand.
Bolton is set to remain at the top of the order and Lanning is backing her Scorchers and national teammate to perform.
"She has opened a lot throughout her career and has been batting in the middle of the order for us, and probably hasn't had a great amount of opportunity just given where she's batting," Lanning said.
"So it's nice for her to step up into that (opener's) role and she's very comfortable there.
"I really enjoyed batting with her the other day, we've done that a lot.
"That gives the team a lot of confidence, Nicole is very confident as well.
"Hopefully we can repeat that."
The Scorchers finished third on the table despite having one of the least heralded bowling attacks in the competition.
Their leading wicket-taker is allrounder Heather Graham, who sits equal-11th on the overall tally with 15 scalps at 21, while Garth is 15th with 13 at 23.53.
"We’re confident, we’ve been playing some good cricket especially in the last four or five games," Lanning said.
"I think we’ve have built into the competition nicely and our bowlers have been growing all the time.
"Once you’re in the semi-finals, you never know what will happen and that’s the way we’re looking at it."
That attack will be put to the test on Saturday against Strikers superstar Sophie Devine, who was on Tuesday crowned WBBL|05 Player of the Tournament having struck 699 runs at 77.66 for the tournament to date.
She has passed fifty eight times in 14 innings, hitting a record 28 sixes along the way.
"Hopefully she is due for a low score," Lanning said.
"We have to try to stop her as much as we can. That will play a key role in the game."