Alana King celebrates Perth Scorchers

Alana King took three key wickets to help the Perth Scorchers restrict the Sydney Sixers to 4/128. Image: WBBL/Twitter

Alana King was the Queen in Adelaide, her three wicket haul helping the Perth Scorchers secure a home final at Optus Stadium on Saturday.

Alana King’s three wicket haul by Alana King has helped the Perth Scorchers secure a home final in an eight wicket win over the Sydney Sixers.

A win was all the Scorchers needed to finish top of the WBBL|07 standings and they did it in style thanks to some incredible bowling from Alana King and the batting effort of Chloe Piparo. 

The Scorchers will host the final at Optus Stadium on Saturday, and await the winner of ‘The Challenger’, which will be played between the second-placed Renegades and the winner of ‘The Eliminator’ on Thursday. 

Speaking to media post match, King said the squad has gained great confidence from these successful final three games this week in Adelaide.

“I think it gives us great confidence (for the) big dance on Saturday. 

“We were just trying to string a few games towards the back end in our favour, and we’ve done that. 

“So, the girls will be full of confidence and hopefully we can get a big crowd down at Optus Stadium.”

The Sixers won the flip and elected to bat first on Sunday morning, and the Scorchers were unable to break through the opening partnership in Shafali Verma and Alyssa Healy through the Powerplay. 

With the openers still at the crease, Sophie Devine decided it was time to bring King into the attack for the eighth over and she struck immediately, bowling Healy for 17.

Her success with the ball continued, getting the other set batter Verma lbw for 27 just two deliveries later. 

The Scorchers bowlers continued to put the squeeze on the Sixers’ pair in the middle, limiting the run scoring of Ellyse Perry and Nicole Bolton.

With the partnership steady, the Scorchers skipper Sophie Devine returned to King for another breakthrough and it paid off, with King bowling Bolton for 19. 

It was once again a faster, and this time fuller, delivery that took off stump. 

Her three wickets for 18 earned King Player of the Match honours, which she admitted surprised her given the efforts of Chloe Piparo in the chase. 

“I’m a bit shocked with the player of the match,” King said.

“I think Pip (Piparo) played a really good innings for us and really made sure that she was the one to finish it off. 

“But yeah, just really excited and have a lot of confidence in my bowling that comes from the teammates around me. 

“They’ve got full confidence in me and I can be as attacking as I can.”

Her bowling this season has been impressive; the three wickets today taking her total to 16 for the tournament.

A fun and supportive environment has been key to this, King explained. 

“I think I’m just having plenty of fun with this team, I’ve said it plenty of times before and I’ll keep saying it, I really love this team and I’ve got the confidence – all the way from the coaches into the skipper and even all the girls on the field. 

“I’m playing with a lot of freedom and that’s just showing on the pitch.”

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Chasing 129 for victory, the Scorchers openers Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine got the runs flowing quickly. 

However, a brilliant catch at third man by Lauren Cheatle dismissed Devine, off the bowling of Stella Campbell.  

Mooney also departed just a little while later, caught and bowled by Nicole Bolton, however it did not slow the Scorchers down. 

The required run rate sat around the comfortable mark of a run-a-ball throughout the innings. 

Piparo was striking the ball beautifully, relaxed in the middle and firing her way to a half-century with her pull shots.

While the opening partnership between Devine and Mooney has put on 776 runs in WBBL|07, the events of this weekend have allowed the Scorchers’ middle order to get some more time at the crease. 

While the Scorchers will want Devine and Mooney firing on Saturday, should their opponent take a wicket, there will be great confidence in Piparo, Heather Graham and others who are also in good touch. 

“That’s what we want (middle order firing),” King said. 

“Soph and Moons have been really good at the top of the order, but these last few games our middle order’s had some time in the middle, which is really key heading to the last game of the season now. 

“So, I think everyone should be full of confidence going into that game on Saturday.”

King played in the WBBL|06 final with her previous side, the Melbourne Stars, and while they lost that match, she appeared relaxed and excited looking ahead to another finals opportunity, with the Scorchers this time. 

“The team is in a really good place and we’ll be excited to fly home and get a good crowd at Optus Stadium. 

“I think it’s going to be good for the WA fans who haven’t had a lot of cricket in the last 18 months due to Covid.

“So, hopefully we can get all our fans out at Optus and we’ll be taking a lot of confidence from these last few games and hopefully putting on a nice show for our fans back home.”

The Perth Scorchers will host The Final on Saturday at Optus Stadium from 4:10pm local time (7:10pm AEDT). 

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