Perth Scorchers capped a dominant season with a 12-run victory over Adelaide Strikers Saturday to claim their first title in the women’s Twenty20 Big Bash League at an oppressively hot Optus Stadium.
Defending their total of 146 for 5, the Scorchers held off the gallant Strikers who finished at 134 for 6.
Scorchers captain Sophie Devine led from the front with a stellar all-round effort in searing heat, with the temperature peaking in Perth at 37 degrees Celsius (99 Fahrenheit) shortly before play.
“I’m so chuffed for the team because everyone played their part throughout the season,” Devine said.
League leaders Scorchers lived up to top billing and were well rested having automatically booked a home final.
The fourth-placed Strikers qualified the hard way after winning elimination games on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Strikers elected to bowl first, backing their in-form attack against explosive Scorchers openers Devine and Beth Mooney.
Their pace bowlers started accurately, limiting the Scorchers to a modest 25 runs in the opening five overs.
But experienced pair Mooney and Devine kept their cool then put the foot down to notch a 50-run partnership in the eighth over.
The stage was set for Mooney, who twice previously was crowned player of the final for the Brisbane Heat, but she miscued to mid-off for 19.
New Zealand’s Devine threatened to take control before being run out for 35 by a direct hit from Dane van Niekerk.
The Scorchers stalled until Marizanne Kapp (31 not out), who briefly faced the bowling of her wife van Niekerk, and Alana King (14 not out from five balls) took advantage of a flagging attack.
Their momentum carried over into the Strikers’ chase with the visitors losing two early wickets, including key batter Katie Mack who tamely fell for six to Devine’s first delivery.
The Strikers’ fading hopes rested on captain Tahlia McGrath and aggressive Laura Wolvaardt who breathed life into the contest with a 65-run third-wicket partnership.
But McGrath holed out for 36 and the task proved beyond the Strikers, who fell short in the final for the second time in three seasons.
Finalists twice previously, the Scorchers became the first team outside of Brisbane and Sydney’s two franchises to lift the trophy.
Watch full highlights of the final below:
With AFP inputs