An opening spell of powerplay bowling from Marizanne Kapp presented the Perth Scorchers with the best possible start to the game as the side came away five-wicket victors.
After an opening over from Taneale Peschel – playing in her 50th WBBL game – that yielded just a solitary run, Kapp was given the ball to start proceedings at the other end of the WACA.
The South African import, with her second ball of her first over, bowled Rachel Priest with a full in-swinging delivery that caught the Hurricanes captain cramped on the crease. Two balls later Kapp had her second wicket, seeing Naomi Stalenberg cutting to Heather Graham who took a catch at backward point.
With those two wickets, it became the first time in WBBL|07 that the fast bowler had claimed multiple scalps in a game – having taken four wickets in seven matches previously this season.
However, Kapp wouldn’t stop there as with her second over, she got her third wicket, that of Nicola Carey. The previous delivery saw the Hurricanes batter dropped, but Kapp was relieved the next ball, trapping Carey LBW as she was caught in the crease, unable to respond to an in-swinger.
Kapp secured her fourth wicket of the contest with the first ball of her third over that saw Molly Strano – the Hurricanes’ batter with the highest-average of WBBL|07 – caught behind.
The wicket ensured that Kapp would equal her best-ever wicket tally of her career, having collected four wickets four times before and twice in the WBBL; in WBBL|04 and WBBL|01.
Unfortunately for Kapp, her first-ever five-wicket haul still eludes her, unable to find another wicket although she had a chance when Alana King dropped a catch at cover in Kapp’s final over.
She would be the most economical of the Perth bowlers against Hobart, finishing with WBBL-best figures of 4/10 off her four overs in an outing that included 19 dot balls and only one boundary conceded. It was also the best bowling figures for a Scorchers player in the WBBL, edging out King’s 4/11 against the Strikers earlier this season.
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The Hurricanes’ bowling display was on song throughout most of the innings, and for the early stages, pace played a big part of captain Sophie Devine’s plans with the ball – not feeling a need for spin to come into play until the 10th over when King was called upon.
As well as Kapp, Devine secured the wickets of Mignon du Preez and Richa Gosch and Heather Graham bowled Tayla Vlaeminck towards the end. While unable to find any reward for effort in terms of wickets, Peschel bowled well for figures of 0/11 off four overs, constantly beating the outside edge of the bat with her line, length and speed.
Lilly Mills was destructive at the backend of the innings, picking up the wickets of Ruth Johnston, Sasha Moloney and Belinda Vakarewa. In doing so, she became the tournament’s Golden Arm leader heading into the next component of matches, her three wickets today taking her total tally to 15 for the season.
With the Scorchers heading in to bat, Kapp would again be decisive factor in the chase, hitting the winning runs after the target was set at 97 from the Hurricanes, scoring 18* off 15 balls.
Before that point, the opening duo of Devine (11 off seven) and Beth Mooney (six off five) fell cheaply again with Chloe Piparo the highest-scorer for the side, equalling her season-best score of 29 runs (off 33 balls).
The Scorchers were able to achieve the target with 4.3 overs to spare, putting themselves further into the top four, equal on a win-loss record with the second-placed Heat and just behind on net run rate.
Speaking after the game, Kapp felt like she hadn’t really performed to the level that she expects of herself, but found solace in the fact that things started to work towards which she hopes translates into the latter stages of the season.
“We’ve been performing in bits-and-pieces, a lot of us have not been at our best, especially me, I feel like I’ve not contributed at all,” Kapp commented.
“Hopefully today, this just helps me along the way and hopefully it’s good timing leading into the back-end of the competition. As long as I can contribute that’s what it’s all about. Like I said, I felt like the first few games I wasn’t myself with bat and ball and hopefully today’s going to help me going forward into the competition.
“I think I just put a bit too much pressure on myself coming into a new team. It’s kind of like you want to show them why, that they made the right decision to pick you but now, hopefully all the pressure’s off. I’ve been enjoying my time here and hopefully it can just get better.”
Reflecting on her own game, the bowler said she wasn’t too upset at the chance to claim a five-wicket haul was put down, still reveling in the fact the team was able to put a good performance together to propel them forward.
“Honestly, I thought I would be a bit more upset but I wasn’t even that upset. I was just so relieved to perform and get some wickets for the team. I’m not going to lie, it would’ve been nice, I don’t think I’ve ever taken five wickets in a competition but it’s part of the game,” she said.
“I feel like we have a good match and then mess up a little bit and then we come back stronger again but hopefully yesterday was the last of that.
“Moving on, I think this game will help us a lot because it wasn’t only the top two, even though we were chasing a low total, most of the batters got a hitotut in the last two games and I think that will really do us good getting into the back-end of the tournament.”
“We were very disappointed yesterday, it’s a game we should’ve won. I think you probably should win that game nine out of 10 times so we were very disappointed. We don’t feel like we’ve been playing our best cricket, it’s been in bits-and-pieces but luckily we came back stronger today and we got the win.
“I think we’ve just really made some dumb mistakes like yesterday, we needed 14 off two overs and it was just some bad decisions. I don’t think it’s anything to do with form or skill, it was just some bad choices and I’m honestly not too worried too much about that, I know we’ll keep on learning each game.”
[Mills] “Yeah, she’s been brilliant, from game one she’s performed for us with the ball, she’s been good in the field, she’s a vital part of our playing group and I think there’s a lot more in the tank for her and hopefully we see it in the back-end of the competition.”
The victory coincides with the last game played in Western Australia for WBBL|07 as Perth travel to Adelaide where it’ll be based for the remainder of the team’s five games this season, the first of which is against the Melbourne Stars at Karen Rolton Oval from 12:55pm local time on Wednesday 10 November.
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