Rebel WBBL|03

The WBBL|03 season that was: Scorchers

The Scorchers struggled for consistency this summer, but they showed their best was definitely good enough

Susie Giese

7 February 2018, 10:53 AM AEST

Position: Runners-up (after finishing 3rd on ladder)

Wins: 9 Losses: 7

Highest total: 6-188 v Heat, December 10

The best of the Scorchers: WBBL|03

Highest individual score: Elyse Villani, 84 not out v Stars, and Natalie Sciver, 84 v Heat

Best individual bowling figures: Katherine Brunt, 3-11 v Renegades

Highlights: Elyse Villani and Nicole Bolton combined for 100-plus run opening partnerships on three occasions, including a remarkable 140-run stand against the Stars.

The final didn’t go their way, but the Scorchers had two good wins against the Sixers during the regular season, winning by nine wickets in their first clash, and six in their second.

The Scorchers bounced back from a nail-biting one-run loss against then-top-team Thunder with an emphatic eight-wicket victory just 24 hours later, led by an excellent 61 not out from Natalie Sciver.

Bowling ace: Katherine Brunt was a force to be reckoned with once again in WBBL|03. Her fierce pace was a real weapon for the Scorchers throughout their campaign, and she finished equal first in the league for most wickets taken with 23.

Batting stars: Elyse Villani and Nicole Bolton formed a formidable opening combination, piling on more than 1000 runs between them this season. Villani thrived in her first season in the captaincy, making 535 runs at 41.15, while Bolton could switch from fast scoring to gritty determination as the team needed, making 482 at 32.13.

Villani cracks a beauty to pass 500

On the rise: Piepa Cleary. The 21-year-old pace bowler nearly doubled her games played from last season, taking the field for all 15 of the Scorchers’ matches. A regular contributor with the ball, she took 13 wickets with an economy rate of 6.12.

What they need for WBBL|04: Consistency. The Scorchers’ best was certainly good enough, as they showed on several occasions throughout the season, but their form wavered, to the point they struggled to string consecutive wins together. In terms of their list, the Scorchers have all they need – plus the huge inclusion of batting superstar Meg Lanning to bring in, after she missed the entire WBBL season following shoulder surgery.

Katherine Brunt highlights: WBBL|03

In a nutshell: After their spot in the top four was in doubt heading into the final day of the regular season, the Scorchers rose to the occasion, securing third spot on the ladder. They showed their best was worthy of the finals stage, defeating formidable opponent Sydney Thunder in the semi-final, but stumbled on the biggest stage. They had plenty of strong batting and bowling performances, but in the end an up-and-down season got the better of them.

WBBL|03 squad: Elyse Villani (c), Megan Banting, Nicole Bolton, Katherine Brunt (ENG), Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Lauren Ebsary, Heather Graham, Katie Hartshorn, Mikayla Hinkley (injured), Ashlee King (rookie), Emma King, Meg Lanning (injured), Ravini Oa (rookie), Chloe Piparo, Natalie Sciver (ENG), Thamsyn Newton (ENG; replacement overseas player), Taneale Peschel (local replacement player), Emily Smith.