Perth Scorchers captain Sophie Devine has been keeping a keen eye on her grand final opposition, the Adelaide Strikers, in more ways than one.
While humbled at the thought of captaining Perth to their maiden WBBL title, Devine admittedly has a soft spot for her former side and will face the Strikers for the third time this season after famously hitting two sixes in a super over at Lilac Hill to conclude an intriguing contest.
The Scorchers have also had the luxury of watching the three remaining teams fight it out to face them, a task Adelaide relished with dominant victories over the Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Renegades.
Devine admitted the Strikers’ form couldn’t escape notice, but that she had “full confidence” in Perth’s preparation and ability to win their maiden WBBL title.
“The Strikers have been fantastic the last couple of games. We know the threat they represent,” she said.
“They’ve got threats throughout but we’ve got to back our strengths. As soon as we give too much energy to what they’re capable of doing, you lose a bit of your own power.
“I’ve got a real soft spot for the Strikers and spent a lot of time there so it’s really special for me to be able to play finals against them.
“We’ve acknowledged it’s a bit different for us but at the end of the day, it’s another game of cricket and we need to prepare as we’ve done for the past 14 games.”
One of the most intriguing subplots of the final proves the battle between married pair Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk.
Striker van Niekerk has already been dismissed twice this season at the hands of Kapp and Devine is hoping when she hands the ball to her star seamer she’ll complete the hat trick.
“Hopefully she can dish out some secrets,” Devine said.
“There are some matchups across both sides that’ll make for interesting viewing.”
Adelaide Strikers captain Tahlia McGrath knows the key to victory will be claiming the key wickets of openers Devine and Mooney who have scored 935 runs between them in WBBL|07.
“For us, it’s about breaking the partnership of ‘Soph’ and ‘Moons’ really early. That’s going to be a crucial decider in the game,” she said.
And after dominating their past two elimination finals against the Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Renegades, McGrath believes the Strikers can conjure a third.
“There’s a lot of belief, a lot of fight in the group. The most pleasing thing for me is everyone is playing their role. It’s a dream as captain when everyone knows their role and performs,” she said.
“We’ve heard some good things about ticket sales so from our point of view, the more people here the better.”
Almost 20,000 tickets have been sold for the final but support for the Scorchers stretches far and wide with Perth’s fellow female sporting teams jumping on the Perth bandwagon.
Docker Mikayla Hyde has been to every Scorchers match in Perth this season and will spend Saturday in the stands alongside her parents.
“They’re such a strong team across their bowling and batting line ups so I’m very happy the final is in Perth and that they’re in it,” she said.
Eagle Kellie Gibson added: “To secure a home final is incredible. Hopefully they can put on a good display and hold up the cup.”
While Lynx star Darcee Garbin said: “The Scorchers have had such a dominant season and hopefully they can put it all together on the day. The entire Lynx team will be cheering them on.”