Scorchers WBBL|01 Season Review

What went right

In six out of seven regular season match wins the Scorchers came away with the chocolates when they batted second.

Skipper Nicole Bolton opened every bowling innings with Nicky Shaw and Katherine Brunt, and they didn’t let her down, as the pair shared the title of the team’s highest wicket-taker for the summer with 16 apiece.

The Englishwomen were restricting, relentless and ruthless. Shaw removed the tournament’s leading run-scorer and Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning for just 19 when the Scorchers faced the Stars at #TheFurnace.

In her first match for Perth, Brunt took 4-17 off her four at an economy of just 4.25. But in that same match, Shaw outdid Brunt’s economy taking 2-16 at a rate of 4.00.

The rivalry between the best mates continued throughout the tournament’s entirety; when Brunt removed South African international Dane van Niekerk for a solitary run, Shaw kept her buddy grounded by taking England international Danni Wyatt’s wicket for zip.

Brunt finished that day with 2-14 (econ 3.5), and Shaw took her most wickets in one game (3-28).

In the Scorchers’ first clash against the Renegades, Shaw and Brunt held the openers to just nine-runs off the first three overs. Brunt carded 2-12 off three with an economy of 4.00, and Shaw recorded 2-19 and off four - including a maiden - at 4.75.

Overall Brunt conceded 274 runs off 54.3 overs (14 innings) and Shaw conceded 320 off 57 overs (15 innings). We’ll let you decide who won that battle, but we’ll safely say we’d open the bowling with the pair any day of the week.

What went wrong

Elyse Villani and Charlotte Edwards finished the WBBL|01 tournament with an impressive 788 runs between them. What’s wrong with that?

A slow start saw the pair suffer single figure dismissals as they struggled to find their groove and build strong opening-wicket partnerships.

Villani and Edwards are widely known as the two slowest runners in women’s cricket - they even faced off in a race after last year’s Ashes to see who was the worse out of the two. It caused a few giggles when they found themselves at the crease together just five months later.

In the Scorchers’ first clash against the Thunder, Edwards was run out for 11, and Villani was caught for one. But, it was that round the pair would find their form, and retain it for the length of the tournament.

In the Scorchers’ second meeting with the Thunder, Edwards top-scored with 88no off 66 balls, with 13 fours and a six, which earned her Player of the Match (POTM) status.

When the Scorchers first faced off against the Stars, Villani took Player of the Match reins as she smashed 56 off 50 with seven fours. In that match, pair combined for an opening-wicket partnership of 124-runs – which meant Bolton needed to score just four runs for victory

In two clashes against the Renegades the pair settled for a POTM title each – Villani’s for 72no off 50, and Edwards’ for 63 off 51 as they combined for 59 and 101-run opening wicket partnerships respectively.

Again, what went wrong? We would’ve loved and largely benefitted from their outstanding form from the word ‘go’. 

The moment to remember

December 20, SCG, Nicky Shaw, Catch of the Tournament (in our humble opinion). Enough said?

Sixers skipper Ellyse Perry and Sara McGlashan were chipping away at the low total of 108 posted by the Scorchers, and they were well on track at 1-50 with a sound 21-run partnership...

This being until Katie Hartshorn bowled to McGlashan who tried to sneak the ball past short fine leg to the boundary, where she was reminded that Shaw may be a veteran but she doesn’t miss a beat.

The then 33-year-old pulled out better moves than Jagger to take a one-handed, diving catch at full stretch.

Not only was it a phenomenal catch, it was a crucial wicket in the stage of the game.

Within 24 hours the video had over 140,000 views on, and we promise not all of those were us, but we could watch it all day every day and not get bored. 

The moment to forget

The moment we received the brutal reminder that communication between the two batters at the crease is everything.

Nobody ever wants to get out, but there is surely nothing worse than getting out on the first ball of the innings.

In our New Year's Eve clash against the Strikers, Megan Schutt opened the bowling to Charlotte Edwards, who played a defending shot to point and went for the single.

Sarah Coyte fielded the ball before Elyse Villani received the message to run, our openers were at the same end of the crease.

Coyte made no mistake, and we were 1-0. Ouch.

Whether the call was made or not, we’d rather forget that one – and probably would’ve preferred it didn’t occur in one of our two televised regular season matches!

#MADETOUGH with the bat

Edwards finished WBBL|01 as the tournament’s second highest run-scorer with 462 off 446 balls faced, behind only Meg Lanning (560 off 492).

The 36-year-old carried her bat on four occasions, and recorded a top-score of 88no off 66 balls against the Sydney Thunder at #TheFurnace.

The match took place in 42-degree heat, and was the Scorchers’ fourth match in three days, but it didn’t stop Edwards from leading the team to post their highest total of the competition (152).

The opener scored a whopping 62 fours and one six at an average of 42, and an average strike rate of 103.58. Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

A special mention must go to Edwards’ Aussie roommate Suzie Bates.

The New Zealand skipper was sorely missed when she returned home for domestic cricket commitments, missing six matches. But, in her eight innings she racked up 220 runs and was undefeated on three occasions.

Her best performance was 51 off 47 balls against the Sixers at the SCG, in a match where the Scorchers could only manage 108.

Another standout performance saw the 28-year-old race to 42-runs off just 26 balls, against the Renegades.

Bates scored 21 fours and one six, at an average of 44 and an average strike rate of 104.76, and was the backbone of almost every battings innings she took part in.

#MADETOUGH with the ball

While it’s obvious Shaw and Brunt were outstanding with the ball, they didn’t carry the team by themselves.

The 2015 WNCL season was Katie Hartshorn’s first with the Alcohol.Think Again Western Fury after two seasons with the Tasmanian Roar.

The 21-year-old showed extreme promise as she donned the yellow for the first time, but the young gun went beyond exceeding everyone’s expectations in WBBL|01.

Hartshorn was the Scorchers’ second highest-wicket taker, with a total of 13 at an average economy rate of 5.76, from 46 overs bowled.

Conceding just 265 runs, Hartshorn was one of just 13 bowlers to take a 4fa in WBBL|01, carding 4-23 in a Player of the Match performance against the Hurricanes at Blacktown International Sports Park.

When a cricket icon as talented as Lisa Sthalekar takes the exact same figures a few weeks later, you know you’re doing something right.

In all 14 of her wicket-taking innings, the left-armer showed outstanding talent and exciting promise for the future.

Where to now?

If we could write the future we’d keep the exact same squad for WBBL|02 and go one match better, but unfortunately that can’t be the case.

The Scorchers’ WBBL|01 group boasted an incredible balance of experience and exciting youth, and with no end of season retirements from our veterans, we could carry the same balance in WBBL|02.

Our five internationals (Bates, Bolton, Brunt, Edwards and Villani) brought a huge amount to the team both on and off the field, and combined with incredible local talent, it’s no surprise we had a ripper WBBL|01.

Regardless of what happens next, the most exciting part for us is that this is just the beginning. We look forward to seeing you in WBBL|02.