Lanning turns focus to finals after weekend of firsts
Meg Lanning finally has a WBBL century, but if her reaction after getting out is anything to go by, the Scorchers captain isn't done yet
2 December 2019, 05:08 PM AEST
Two quirks of Rebel WBBL history were finally rectified last weekend.
First, the Scorchers’ spot in the final four was cemented, meaning Australian and Perth captain Meg Lanning will finally appear in a Big Bash eliminator for the first time in the competition’s five-year history.
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
Then on Sunday, Lanning – league leading run scorer on two occasions and widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, batters in the world – scored her first WBBL century.
Her blazing 101 from 67 deliveries lit up the Lilac Hill crowd as she hit the Hobart Hurricanes attack to all corners of the ground.
It eclipsed her previous best WBBL score of 97no, scored against the Brisbane Heat in WBBL|02.
It was a long-awaited milestone, after Lanning struck back-to-back scores of 90 and 75 for the Melbourne Stars on the historic first day of WBBL|01 at Junction Oval, which saw the club play Brisbane Heat twice on the same day.
"It was good to spend some time out in the middle today," Lanning said on Sunday.
"I must admit I’ve wanted to get to the hundred-mark in the WBBL.
"Opening the batting you get the opportunity to bat for the longest period of time, so it was nice to get there today."
Across the first two seasons of the competition, playing for the Stars, Lanning amassed 1062 runs at 50.57, including 10 half-centuries, never quite cracking triple figures.
She was sidelined through WBBL|03, recovering from a shoulder reconstruction, returning in the Scorchers’ orange for the tournament’s fourth edition, where she hit 389 runs in nine innings at 48.62 including a high of 76.
After a scratchy start to the current season, Lanning has grown in stature to finish the regular season third on the runs table – with 530 at 44.16 including four half-centuries to sit alongside her Sunday’s hundred.
But if anyone dared think Lanning might be satisfied, they only needed to watch the 27-year-old’s reaction when she was caught on the boundary, two balls after reaching triple figures, visibly furious with herself as she left the ground with 13 deliveries remaining in Perth’s innings.
The Scorchers will certainly hope she has unfinished business, given they go into their semi-final against Adelaide Strikers at Brisbane’s Allan Border Field as underdogs, having lost of their three overseas players, Nat Sciver and Amy Jones, to England duties.
While they were unable to draft in a replacement, meaning their only import will be Irish quick Kim Garth, Perth prepared by leaving the English pair on the sidelines for Sunday’s final match of the regular season.
Thanks largely to Lanning’s efforts they still secured a 36-run win over the Hurricanes but playing one of the competition’s most well-rounded squads in Adelaide is another matter altogether.
"We’ll have couple days training here before we head over (to Brisbane) ... we’ve played at AB Field this year and we’ve won a game there, so we know the conditions pretty well," Lanning said.
"It’s just great to be there, it’s really exciting to play in the finals and once you get there, you never know what will happen."