Perth Scorchers overcame their 4th season debacles to qualify for the semifinal, last year. The side who had played finals twice is one of the consistent sides of the tournament, qualified 4 times for the semifinal out of the 5 seasons. This time as Meg Lanning has changed her base to Melbourne Stars, they will be led by New Zealand skipper, Sophie Devine. Devine will be their 4th Captain in 6 seasons as she will be the successor of Nicole Bolton (S1), Suzie Bates (S2), Elyse Villani (S3), Meg Lanning (S4, S5). Perth has played 76 games so fer while turning out to be victorious in 41 of those.

Played-76, Won-41, Lost-35, NR/Tie-0, Win%-53

Women’s Big Bash League 05 result: Semi-finalist

They won 9 out of their 14 matches last year and qualified as the third side into the semis. In the semifinal, they lost the match by 8 wickets to Adelaide strikers. Batting First they amassed 126 runs, based on Georgia Redmayne’s 51. In reply, Strikers opener, Sophie Devine played an innings of unbeaten 65 to lead the chasing side to their first-ever WBBL Final.

Best Result: Runners-Up (2016-17, 2017-18)

Women’s Big Bash League 06 Team Analysis: Perth Scorchers, who played the semi-final last year, was hit hard when Meg Lanning and Natalie Sciver joined Melbourne Stars. Meg Lanning was the highest run-getter for them last year and Sciver did a decent job with her all-round abilities. However, Perth turned the table when they poached in Beth Mooney from Brisbane Heats and Sophie Devine from Adelaide Striker. Mooney was instrumental in Heats’ two successful campaign and was the part of the team form the emancipation of the tournament.

She has scored 2576 runs at a strike rate of 122 while she averaged 45. Apart from that, she has been in tremendous form in the last couple of years. Fans must remember her gallant effort in the final of the last season. In the final between Strikers, chasing 162 to win, Mooney’s unbeaten 56 was not only against the Devine’s team but, she fought cramps and dehydration. So her inclusion will be a  huge boost for the top order.

Sophie Devine was also the backbone for the Adelaide strikers. Suzie Bates and she, the ‘Smash Sisters’ as they call it has won games in the top of the order. Devine, the 3rd highest run-getter in WBBL with 2174 batted with a strike rate of 130. She was the 2nd highest run-scorer after Beth Mooney in the last season. Perth Scorchers management will depend upon her for her Divine innings in season two. She has not been in good touch from the World T-20 with the bat and will surely look forward to getting her momentum, early in the tournament.

Sophie Devine

Sophie Devine. ©Twitter/Perth Scorchers

While the inclusion of Mooney and Devine have boosted the batting for the Scorchers, the ambiguity lies regarding the batting order. Nicole Bolton would love to bat in the top order and in the previous season, Amy Jones has done reasonably well with Meg Lanning. Now if Bolton opens with Mooney then Devine can come at number three and Jones can be asked to take care of the middle order.

Jones who has scored more than 600 runs for Scorchers in two seasons and at the same time has established her self as a prominent member of the English national side. Even in the recently concluded series against West Indies, Amy Jones played small but handy knocks in the middle order. So Amy Jones probably need to replicate those in the WBBL as well.

Jones returns to Perth for the third season and will again be eager to impress after finishing WBBL 05 inside the top 10 run-scorers with 391 runs over 13 matches. At the same time, Scorchers need to decide their wicketkeeper as well due to the presence of Beth Mooney and Amy Jones. In a Podcast, Beth Mooney stated that the decision will be made prior to the first match and at the same time she rated Jones’s keeping higher than her.

ALSO READ: Brisbane Heat Look To Continue Their Dominant Run For The 3rd Successive Time

Nicole Bolton has been the trusted weapon for Scorchers from the inaugural season and has scored 1360  runs at the top order. Amidst from he top-heavy batting line-up,  Heather Graham will play a major role wit her all-round abilities. She can play a handy role in the middle over and can destroy the batting line-up even in the upfront. Graham has taken the highest wickets (72) for Scorchers while scored 726 runs.

Graham with her medium pace has turned the course of the match many times and she will be joined by the likes of Devine. While Megan Banting, Mathilda Carmichael and Chloe Piparo will consolidate the lower middle order, Schorchers has included Georgia Wyllie, a teenage prodigy in the side. Wyllie, a right-hand bat and a left-handed seamer has scored 222 runs in 2019/2020 U-18 Championship including a half-century against South Australia.

Scorchers will again depend on their bunch of spinners for their success. Sarah Glenn is one of the leading leg spinners of England will join the Chloe Piparo,  Jemma Barsby, Emma King to boost the spin attack. Glenn had a splendid West Indies series prior to the WBBL. England white-washed  West Indies in Derby in 5-matches T20I series where she was judged Player of the series.

Across the 5 matches, she has taken 7 wickets with an economy of 5.6. Apart from her bowling brilliance, she showed her class with the bat as well in the 2nd match of the series.  Glenn had picked up 22 wickets in T-20 for her National Side while her best  (3/15) was against  Pakistan in the 2020 World Cup.

Perth Scorchers

Perth Scorchers ©Will Russell/Getty Images

Jemma Barsby and Emma King have taken more than 40 wickets in WBBL. Both the off-spinners have done reasonably well.  Barsby has taken more than 50 wickets for Heats and has moved to Perth in the last season. However, she didn’t rose up-to the expectation and had taken only 5 wickets in 24 overs. But she will try to start afresh. Bolton too can chip in with her off-spin in the middle overs. Last year, spinners have taken only 11 wickets out of 68 wickets and they will depend on Glenn to take wickets in the middle orders.

Natalie Sciver and Kim Garth have left the side this year while Scorchers coach believes Piepa Cleary can play a major role in this year. She missed last years due to injury. While Perth Scorchers has decided to let Kim Grath go, who had taken 14 wickets, Devine needs to take the responsibility upfront. The versatile seam bowling attack, consists of Samantha Betts who has taken 9 wickets last season, and  Heather Graham, the highest wicket-taker of the last season for the side.

ALSO READ: Meg Lanning Returns and Regains Captaincy to Turn the Table for Melbourne Stars

Strength:

Scorchers will be heavily dependent upon their top order that consists of Mooney and Devine. While the more of a similar core, that has been retained by the team management, will help them to stick to the basics, the spin bowling department will be boosted by the presence of Barsby and Glenn. Seam bowling area will look forward on the performance of Heather Graham and Sophie Devine to destroy the opposition line up. The presence of a bunch of all-rounders too can assure the management.

Weakness:

Though the side is top-heavy, the lower middle-order remains as the area of concern for the Scorchers. However, fixing the opening batting slot is going to be crucial for the side, in presence of four openers. Piparo who didn’t have a good outing with the bat last season has regained her form in the WNSL and look forward to continuing her form. It will be interesting to watch how to pace bowling department will react on the pressure situation and survive the injury scares as they have only two specialist seamers in form of Piepa Cleary and Taneale Peschel.

WBBL 06 Squad of Perth Scorchers:

Sophie Devine (C, NZ), Beth Mooney (Aus), Sarah Glenn (Eng), Amy Jones (Eng), Megan Banting, Jemma Barsby, Nicole Bolton, Samantha Betts, Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Heather Graham, Emma King, Taneale Peschel, Chloe Piparo, Georgia Wyllie

Ins: Beth Mooney (Heat), Sophie Devine (Strikers), Sarah Glenn, Megan Banting, Georgia Wyllie

Outs: Meg Lanning (Stars), Natalie Sciver (Stars), Georgia Redmayne (Heat), Kim Garth, Kath Hempenstall

Key Players:

Beth Mooney, Sophie Devine, Heather Graham, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Chloe Piparo.

Probable XI:

Nicole Bolton, Beth Mooney, Amy Jones, Sophie Devine, Heather Graham, Megan Banting, Chloe Piparo, Jemma Barsby, Sarah Glenn, Piepa Cleary, Taneale Peschel

Fixtures:

October 25: vs Heat, North Sydney Oval

October 26: vs Hurricanes, Hurstville Oval

October 31: vs Renegades, Drummoyne Oval

November 1: vs Strikers, Drummoyne Oval

November 4: vs Thunder, Blacktown International Sports Park

November 7: vs Stars, North Sydney Oval

November 8: vs Sixers, Hurstville Oval

November 11: vs Sixers, Blacktown International Sports Park

November 14: vs Renegades, Showground Stadium

November 15: vs Thunder, Showground Stadium

November 17: vs Stars, Hurstville Oval

November 18: vs Heat, Hurstville Oval

November 21: vs Hurricanes, North Sydney Oval

November 22: vs Strikers, North Sydney Oval

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