The Perth Scorchers enjoyed a successful finish to the regular season on the weekend, and now get to relax as they wait to find out their opponent for the WBBL Final at Optus Stadium.
They will be hoping third times a charm, as they enter another WBBL Final contest without a title to their name. They were unsuccessful against the Sydney Sixers in WBBL|02 and WBBL|03, and are hungry for a maiden Championship in 2021.
While the Scorchers say they don’t have any preference for their opponent, looking ahead to the contest, the quality sides of the Melbourne Renegades and Adelaide Strikers are surely on their minds.
“It’s probably the first time we’ve had a clear top four, and all those teams in the top four have been consistent at different points throughout the tournament,” Scorchers opener Beth Mooney told media on Thursday.
“So, I don’t think it matters [who they play].
“I think T20 cricket at times can be a little bit of a lottery as well, so it’ll just be who turns up on the day and is as well prepared as they can after what has been a pretty long tournament.”
The Scorchers defeated the Strikers twice during the regular season. The first was a close finish at Lilac Hill that went to a Super Over, which Sophie Devine absolutely smashed in two balls with two huge sixes, and the second was a 12 run win in the Faith Thomas Trophy match to open First Nations Round.
Against the Renegades, the Scorchers had one match abandoned without a ball bowled, and then at the WACA smashed them by 40 runs, in a match where Beth Mooney made 101* to go along with Devine’s 72 for an incredible first innings score.
The Scorchers would have been watching on on Wednesday night, as Amanda-Jade Wellington tore apart the Heat line up, and they will be keen to see who takes out The Challenger on Thursday to become their Final opponent.
That is one of the advantages of having the direct path through to the final, Scorchers’ captain Sophie Devine says, you get to watch the other teams fight to keep their seasons alive.
“I think we’ve got the luxury of being able to sit back and see how the games go,” Devine said.
“I’m really pleased to see that the games are going to be here [at Adelaide Oval]. So, we’ll be sitting back nice and warm in Perth and see who our opposition is.”
But Devine, who was a Striker for the first five WBBL seasons and made the move west to the Scorchers ahead of WBBL|06, loved the idea of playing against her old side in the Final.
“I think that would be nice [to play the old side], wouldn’t it? To face the Strikers in the final.
“But the great thing about this competition is that anyone of the three teams could be there with us in the final. I probably am a little bit biased, to want to see a blue versus orange final, but we’ll see what happens.”
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Perth head coach Shelley Nitschke agrees that it doesn’t really matter who their opponent is on Saturday night, the squad will have to be at their best to take home the trophy.
“We’re going to have to play well. All of the teams that are left in the finals play slightly differently, they’ve all got slightly different strengths,” she said.
“I think we just need to be well prepared for whoever it is that gets across the line on Thursday night.”
As for what they can do to prepare and best use this week break, Nitschke says the Scorchers will rest, reset and read up on their potential opposition, with the focus remaining on becoming WBBL|07 Champions on Saturday night.
“Someone’s got to get on a flight Friday and come across to the west, so I guess we just have to use this week really well.
“We’ve got the opportunity to refresh and reset and really do our homework, I suppose we don’t have much time to do our homework, but just make sure that we’re ready to go.
“The target is on our back, but I think we’ve got the confidence that if we can play our brand of cricket and play to the best of our ability, we’ve got every opportunity on Saturday.”
The Perth Scorchers will host the winner of tonight’s Challenger final between the Melbourne Renegades and Adelaide Strikers at Optus Stadium on Saturday at 4:10pm AWST.
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