Perth Scorchers stars Sophie Devine, Marizanne Kapp reveal WBBL turning point that inspired maiden title

Headshot of Eliza Reilly
Eliza ReillyThe West Australian
VideoPerth Scorchers players celebrate their first Women's Big Bash League title.

Their campaign will forever be remembered for delivering the Perth Scorchers their maiden Women’s Big Bash League title after defeating the Adelaide Strikers at Optus Stadium.

But the league’s newly minted champions believe mid-season crisis talks in the wake of a failed run chase against the Hobart Hurricanes marked the start of their title tilt.

Chasing 138 for victory at the WACA Ground in early November, Perth limped to 8-135 in reply, falling two runs short as Beth Mooney (one), Marizanne Kapp (nine) and Mathilda Carmichael (two) failed to fire.

But with less than 24 hours to reflect, the Scorchers fronted up against the very same opponent and bowled Hobart out for 96, inspiring a six-game winning streak that ended with a 12-run grand final victory.

“We choked, to be fair, on a run chase we’d back ourselves on doing nine times out of ten,” Devine said.

“We had to have a really hard look at ourselves and think ‘how can we come back from that?’ and that probably was a turning point for us.

“The middle order from that stage really kicked on. We saw Chloe Piparo, Heather Graham and Kappy as well were outstanding.

“In this tournament you need to be able to reflect and move on really quickly because you don’t have much time between games.

“Sometimes you have to get that kick up the bum halfway through a season. It was nice for the girls to respond.”

The Scorchers celebrate.
Camera IconThe Scorchers celebrate. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Player of the final Kapp said Perth’s mid-season inconsistency sparked her own run of form, knocking 31 not out and taking 1-25 in the final.

“We’d have a brilliant game and then fall down,” she said.

“There were some tough games in there this year and I definitely wasn’t at my best but I knew as long as we could get to the finals, I back myself. I feel like that’s where I perform.

“Luckily we turned things around and ended up on the winning side.”

Perth Scorchers skipper Sophie Devine, right and allrounder Marizanne Kapp, at Optus Stadium, where the Scorchers won the 2021 WBBL final on Saturday.
Camera IconPerth Scorchers skipper Sophie Devine, right and allrounder Marizanne Kapp, at Optus Stadium, where the Scorchers won the 2021 WBBL final on Saturday. Credit: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

The South African all-rounder, who became a three-time WBBL champion after winning two titles at the Sydney Sixers alongside wife Dane van Niekerk, admitted she had to strike a fine line between celebrating as her spouse commiserated Adelaide’s loss.

“It is difficult I’m not going to lie but we have to be there for each other. When I’m out there, I see her as another player,” she said.

Both Devine and Kapp are out of contract but vowed to return to the Scorchers and help create a WBBL dynasty.

“It’s a really special group and we can create something special here but we have to start again after enjoying the occasion and enjoying the season that’s been,” Devine said.

“The group we’ve got here is very special and there’s a really strong core group of domestic players we can keep hold of for a couple of years.”

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