Devine, McGrath propel Adelaide Strikers to WBBL final

New Zealand

Adelaide Strikers 2 for 130 (Devine 65*, McGrath 36) beat Perth Scorchers 7 for 126 (Redmayne 51, Barsby 31, Schutt 2-14, Devine 2-23) by eight wickets

Sophie Devine marched the Adelaide Strikers all over Perth Scorchers and into Sunday’s WBBL final, and in doing so closed to within 14 runs of surpassing Ellyse Perry’s 777-run tournament aggregate record, on a sweltering day at Brisbane’s Allan Border Field.

The Strikers had taken the initiative from the first few overs after sending the Scorchers in, Devine claiming the pivotal first wicket of Meg Lanning while Megan Schutt played her customary stymieing role at the other end, ultimately conceding just 14 runs from her four overs.

Despite a recovery led by Georgia Redmayne, the Scorchers were held to 7 for 126, a total that was defendable only if Devine could be seen off quickly. Instead, she took control of the innings as she has so often this competition, gliding to a ninth half-century this season at the WBBL. She was aided by Tahlia McGrath and Bridget Patterson to rush the Strikers to their first-ever tournament final. The Scorchers, whose coach Lisa Keightley is set to take over as England coach, did not help themselves by dropping two catches and missing a stumping.

Devine, Schutt get the early break

An early start at Allan Border Field offered the chance for the bowling side to get the most of any movement in the air or off the pitch. Thanks to Devine and Schutt, the Adelaide Strikers were able to do both.

Critically, this reaped them the wicket of Meg Lanning in only the day’s second over. After being corralled by Schutt’s inswing in the opening over, Lanning leant forward to drive at Bates, only to slice an away-swinger into a well-staffed backward-point region, where Alex Price held the catch.

The Strikers’ glee at dismissing the Australian captain was unconfined, but more was to follow as Schutt found a way past Chloe Piparo and Nicole Bolton in consecutive deliveries. A tally of 3 for 26 from the Powerplay meant the Scorchers were starting their innings from an awful long way back, requiring high skill, patience and stamina to rescue things as temperatures ticked towards the high 30s.

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