WBBL07 final: Perth Scorchers claim maiden WBBL title with win over Adelaide Strikers
The drought is over.
After seven summers and two losing grand finals, Perth finally lifted the Women’s Big Bash League trophy with a 12-run win over Adelaide Strikers at Optus Stadium.
The Scorchers produced a stingy bowling performance to defend their competitive total of 5-146 in front of a record WBBL final attendance of 15,511, restricting the visitors to 6-134.
South African import Marianne Kapp fired with bat (31no off 23) and ball (1-25 off four) in a player-of-the-match performance, hitting her tournament-best score before an ultra-economical bowling spell at the top to set the tone, despite being sick all week.
In the power play alone, the home side bowled a remarkable 26 dot balls, including two maidens, with the Strikers struggling at 2-16, chasing 147 for their first title.
Captain Tahlia McGrath (36 off 29) made up for lost time to at least make a game of it, combining for a quickfire 65-run third-wicket stand in 50 balls with Laura Wolvaardt (25 off 28).
But once the aggressive McGrath, who looked determined to make Perth pay for a bungled run out attempt when she was on six, departed things fell apart with Wolvaardt following her five balls later.
Madeline Penna (30no off 21) struck a few late blows but it was too little, too late.
A wife-versus-wife sub-plot between was entertaining with Kapp bowling a maiden to her partner, Dane van Niekerk, without getting her out.
The pair played in two winning finals together at Sydney Sixers, both against the Scorchers in WBBL02 and WBBL03, but it was fiery allrounder Kapp who became the three-time champion.
Van Niekerk and fellow opener, the in-form Katie Mack, each made six off 13.
Young quick Taneale Peschel grabbed the prized scalp of McGrath on her way to figures of 2-23 off four, while captain Sophie Devine (1-23 off three) got Mack cheaply with her first ball.
Allrounder Heather Graham was also important, backing up her 20-ball 23 with 2-30 from her four overs.
Earlier, several Scorchers made starts without kicking on with captain Sophie Devine (35 off 33 balls) the top-scorer and Kapp, Graham and Beth Mooney (19 off 25) also chipping in.
Kapp’s blistering late knock was significant considering the wickets tumbling around her, finishing off the innings with leg-spinner Alana King (14 off five) who slapped a few boundaries.
The sixth-wicket pairing of Kapp and King put on 18 in the final eight deliveries in a mid-match momentum shift after the home side was sent in by McGrath.
Australian quick Megan Schutt was outstanding for the Strikers, with figures of 1-19 from her four overs during the power play and at the death.
The Scorchers were well placed at 0-52 before losing their top-three batters within 22 balls to slump to 3-75 in the 12th over.
Star openers Devine and Mooney started slowly before lifting late in the power play on their way to yet another half-century stand in 45 balls.
But two balls after reaching their milestone, two-time player of the final Mooney spooned one to Amanda-Jade Wellington at mid-off off McGrath.
Then came the disastrous run out of Devine, who was short of her ground at the strikers end after a Dane van Niekerk direct hit, just after the 10-over drinks break.
Chloe Piparo (14 off 10) hit back-to-back boundaries next over off young speedster Darcie Brown before becoming her 20th victim of the tournament, guiding one straight to ‘keeper Tegan McPharlin.
Mooney won the Golden Cap award with 547 runs.
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