23/04/2024
Perth Scorchers Preview

The Perth Scorchers will be looking to go one better and make the WBBL final in 2021 (credit PerthScorchers twitter)

The Perth Scorchers had an inconsistent season in 2020. The side is hoping some big name additions can take their team further in WBBL|07.

The Perth Scorchers got themselves into the finals of WBBL|06; however, they couldn’t get past the semi-finals, eventually losing out to the Melbourne Stars.

The Scorchers will go in as one of the favourites for the WBBL|07. With some big inclusions and the added benefit of playing at least a stretch of matches in their home state. Perth will be hoping an influx of overseas talent for WBBL|07 will allow the squad to go further in the upcoming tournaments.

The Scorchers are coached by Australian great Shelley Nitschke and are under the captaincy of Kiwi International Sophie Devine. The Scorchers will be looking to push for finals again and finally secure that elusive trophy.

Last Season:

The Perth Scorchers finished WBBL|06 just inside the top four, scraping past the Sydney Sixers on net run rate only. The Scorchers went even with six wins and six losses, including two no results due to the rain in Sydney last year.

A lack of consistency was the problem for the Scorchers, with the side finishing with three losses from their last five matches. The Scorchers’ best phase of the tournament was the middle where the side won four games on the run.

The best performance for the Scorchers was in match 28 of the tournament. The Scorchers dominated with the bat scoring 183 from their 20 overs. Sophie Devine smashed a century from 68 balls alongside a 60 from Beth Mooney. The side then kept the star-studded Sydney Sixers to 147 from 20 overs to secure a 36 run win.

Sophie Devine arriving for the Scorchers from the Strikers was a big get and will no doubt be huge for WBBL|07 as well. Devine went on to win the player of the tournament vote, winning with 31 votes over Meg Lanning with 29.

Devine was also selected in the team of the tournament, along with fellow Scorchers Beth Mooney and Taneale Peschel.

Mooney was the highest run-scorer for the Scorchers, with 551 runs across the season, including four half-centuries. With the ball, it was the English international Sarah Glenn who will, unfortunately, be missing this WBBL she took 17 wickets. The young Taneale Peschel also chipped in with 13 wickets across the season.

Squad:

Sophie Devine (C) (New Zealand), Chamari Athapaththu (Sri Lanka), Samantha Betts, Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Ashley Day, Amy Edgar, Heather Graham, Lisa Griffith, Marizanne Kapp (South Africa), Alana King, Lilly Mills, Beth Mooney, Taneale Peschel, Chloe Piparo

Big Inclusion:

South African international and superstar Marizanne Kapp has made the switch from the Sydney Sixers to the Perth Scorchers this WBBL. The all-rounder has spent every year of the WBBL in Sydney, having won two championships with the side.

The medium pace all-rounder has plundered runs and taken wickets consistently for the franchise. She has scored 829 runs across the tournament at an average of just over 20 with the bat. However, it has been with the ball where she has really dominated, having taken 90 wickets at an average of under 18. She will be a valuable asset to the Scorchers, who struggled for depth last season.

Another sizzling addition to the Scorchers squad this season is Sri Lankan Chamari Athapaththu. She hits the ball further and harder than most ladies in women’s cricket. From a global point of view, it is also essential to bring in players that aren’t from the bigger cricketing nations. She will bring an exciting brand of cricket to the tournament.

Who’s Missing?

Most of the playing squad have returned; however, the Scorchers will be without two key international signings.

With England having been ready to tour Pakistan before pulling out, both Sara Glenn and Amy Jones cannot play for the Scorchers this season. However, their inclusions of Chamari Athapaththu and Marizanne Kapp will more than make up for those losses.

Former Australian superstar Nicole Bolton also announced her retirement from cricket last week.

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Wildcard Player:

She may have only played five matches in WBBL|06, but Mathilde Carmichael will be one to keep an eye on in 2021. In her four innings, she smashed 69 runs from only 55 balls faced with a high score of 35. The thing to watch, however, will be her boundary-hitting ability. She has a strike rate of over 125, which should add some much-needed middle over hitting to the Scorchers.

Rookie to Watch:

Taneale Peschel, at 23 years old, is undoubtedly one to watch. She had played matches sporadically in previous WBBL seasons, but in WBBL|06 had her breakout year. Peschel became the Scorchers’ most important bowler, eventually being selected in the team of the tournament.

She took 13 wickets from her 14 matches at an impressive average of only 21.69. Peschel will look to lead the bowling attack this summer, and with the help of fellow quickie, Marizanne Kapp will be looking for higher honours in years to come.

Squad Strengths:

The Scorchers will be reliant on the big-name players this WBBL. The coaches have banked on the big names of Devine, Kapp, and Mooney to secure them the title this year. The Scorchers have struggled through the middle-order batting and 4th or 5th bowler. It doesn’t look like this will change this year.

Devine’s overall WBBL numbers are insane, with the all-rounder having hit 2634 runs and taken 66 wickets throughout her WBBL career. She did go to another level with the bat last season, striking a colossal century to go along with three half-centuries. While her bowling is on the decline, her batting is going from strength to strength.

Mooney also dominated last season with 551 runs, including four half-centuries. She hopes to continue her form the internationals against India when the WBBL gets going in a week.

Kapp continues to dominate cricket worldwide and will add an essential layer to Scorcher’s line-up.

Squad Weaknesses:

The most obvious weakness for the Scorchers is the lack of depth within their squad. While the Sydney Sixers have 7 or 8 players with international experience, the Scorchers have much fewer.

What needs to change for the Scorchers is the ability for the middle-order players to score runs if Mooney and Devine can’t get going for whatever reason.

Last season Mooney and Devine averaged over 50 with the bat, and the next best was Nicole Bolton averaging only 14. While some of this has to do with a lack of opportunity with the openers dominating most matches, it will be something to worry about for the Scorchers.

The numbers with the ball will also be something the Scorcher coaches need to look at. Only Peschel will be playing for the Scorchers of the team’s top four wicket-takers last season. The 5th highest was Sophie Devine, who is bowling less and less.

While Kapp adds strength to this bowling line-up, there is still a question of who bowls the remaining overs.

Predicted XI:

1. Sophie Devine (c)

2. Beth Mooney (wk)

3. Chamari Athapaththu

4. Marizanne Kapp

5. Heather Graham

6. Chloe Piparo

7. Mathilda Carmichael

8. Piepa Cleary

9. Alana King

10. Samantha Betts

11. Taneale Peschel

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