Women's Big Bash League: Perth Scorchers beat Adelaide Strikers in final for first title

Perth Scorchers lift trophy after winning final against Adelaide Strikers
Perth Scorchers have won the Women's Big Bash League for the first time after finishing runners-up twice
Women's Big Bash Final, Optus Stadium, Perth:
Perth Scorchers Women 146-5 (20 overs): Devine 35, Kapp 31*; Schutt 1-19
Adelaide Strikers 134-6 (20 overs): McGrath 36 (29); Peschel 2-23, Graham 2-30
Perth Scorchers Women won by 12 runs
Scorecard. Table

Perth Scorchers beat Adelaide Strikers by 12 runs in the Women's Big Bash League final to be crowned champions for the first time.

Sophie Devine hit 35 and Marizanne Kapp 31 not out off 23 balls as Perth posted 146-5 from 20 overs.

Taneale Peschel and Heather Graham took two wickets apiece as Adelaide were restricted to 134-6 in reply.

It is third time lucky for Perth, having lost the 2016-17 and 2017-18 finals against Sydney Sixers.

For Adelaide - who lost to Brisbane Heat in the final two years ago - the wait for a maiden WBBL trophy goes on.

Mooney & Divine lead Perth to glory

Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine
Openers Mooney (left) and Devine scored a combined 989 runs for Perth Scorchers in this year's competition

Perth were the fresher team, having topped the group stages and advanced straight to the final.

In contrast, Adelaide needed to win two elimination games in consecutive days against Brisbane Heat on Wednesday and Melbourne Renegades on Thursday.

Having lost the toss and been put into bat, Perth captain Devine and Beth Mooney got their side off to a good start.

The openers have been formidable at the top of the order this season and, after a watchful start, reached 50-0 in 7.3 overs.

With good running between the wicket combined with some explosive hitting, the stage was set for another huge opening partnership.

Wellington caps off fine tournament

Amanda-Jade Willington
Leg-spinner Wellington has taken 23 wickets at an average of 16.26 and strike-rate of 6.56 this season

But against the run of play, Mooney - the highest run-scorer this year with 547 - was dismissed by Tahlia McGrath for 19, before Devine was sensationally run out after a fine piece of fielding by Dane van Niekerk.

Perth recovered from 75-3 thanks to a 41-run partnership between Heather Graham (23 off 20) and Kapp, before leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington had Graham caught at cover.

Wellington took 1-28 to end the tournament as the leading wicket-taker, with 23 dismissals in 17 matches.

Despite finishing on the losing side, Wellington's performance in this year's competition will have done her chances of national selection no harm with Australia hosting a two-Test Ashes series against England in January,

But Kapp's significant 23-ball knock and a late cameo from Alana King, who hit 14 off five balls, made sure Perth posted a solid total.

Van Niekerk v Kapp battle as Adelaide fall short

In a pretty unique sub-plot, married South African duo Van Niekerk and Kapp went head-to-head.

Both were on the winning side when Oval Invincibles lifted the inaugural women's Hundred trophy at Lord's in the summer, but this time they were on opposing teams.

In a thrilling third over of the Strikers' reply, Kapp bowled a magnificent maiden to Van Niekerk. Finding shape and movement, the seamer was unfortunate not to dismiss her wife having beaten the bat with two terrific deliveries.

Devine took the important wicket of Katie Mack - the second highest run-scorer this year with 513 runs - before Van Niekerk was dismissed by Peschel, both Adelaide openers scoring just six.

McGrath (29 off 36) fell to Peschel, who finished with figures of 2-23, and Laura Wolvaardt (25 off 22) was dismissed by Graham, the seamer taking 2-30.

Madeline Penna's unbeaten 30 off 21 balls ensured Adelaide did not go down without a fight, but with 22 needed from the final over, seamer Peschel saw her side over the line.

'I don't think I deserve this, it's a team effort' - what they said

Player of the final Marizanne Kapp: "It was a terrible week for me. I was unwell, couldn't get out of bed. I don't think I deserve this, it's a team effort. It was odd facing off my wife in the final. She knows me so well."

Adelaide captain Tahlia McGrath: "We'll be back bigger and better next year. They've had a great year, beaten us three times now. They thoroughly deserve the championship. Thanks to Cricket Australia and everyone behind the scenes - it's been pretty cool playing in front of 15,000 fans."

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