Meg Lanning leads Scorchers to victory
The Perth Scorchers have finished the rebel Women’s Big Bash League home-and-away season on a high after a record-breaking century from Meg Lanning led them to a 36-run win over the Hobart Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon.
It was a slow start at Lilac Hill for the Scorchers as Nicole Bolton and Meg Lanning took to the crease in a new-look opening partnership, but as the overs ticked over so did the scoreboard.
As Bolton rotated the strike Lanning clicked into gear, scoring a clean six in the third over which set the tone for what was to come.
Lanning was dropped on 31 chasing runs on the off side and she didn’t look back from that moment on, punishing the Hurricanes with 13 fours and three sixes on the way to her maiden WBBL century in her 50th game in the competition.
After eclipsing her previous WBBL high score of 97* Lanning looked set to pose a huge total but was eventually dismissed on 101, caught in the deep by Sasha Moloney trying to sweep a Chloe Tryon delivery over the boundary in the 17th over.
With just two overs to play the Scorchers pushed hard for runs but Kim Garth (2), Bolton (44) and Chloe Piparo (3) were all dismissed late in the innings as the Scorchers finished on 3-167.
After a strong showing with the bat Bolton took the ball for the first over of the second innings and made an instant impact, beating Erin Fazackerley’s bat with the second ball of the innings for Georgia Redmayne to whip off her bails and dismiss the Hurricane’s opener for a duck.
But after the early wicket Heather Knight and Nicola Carey found their feet at the crease, putting on a 65-run partnership before Carey (26) was eventually dismissed, driving a delivery from Samantha Betts straight to Jemma Barsby for a simple catch.
Not long after Knight (36) joined Carey back in the sheds after a terrific catch from Chloe Piparo near the on side boundary off Heather Graham’s bowling.
After dismissing Knight and Carey the Scorchers turned the screws and the wickets continued to fall, with Tryon (5), Wilson (10) and Moloney (1) all departing cheaply.
Corinne Hall (28*) and Maisy Gibson (22*) closed out the innings with a solid partnership, but the Scorcher’s total of 167 proved an insurmountable score for the Hurricanes who ended their innings on 6-132.
The result lifted the Scorchers into third position at the conclusion of the WBBL regular season, setting up a contest with second-placed Adelaide Strikers next Saturday in Brisbane at 10:10am (local time).
After leading the Scorchers to victory off her record-breaking knock, Lanning said ending the regular season on a high will do them wonders leading into the finals campaign.
“It’s good to bounce back from yesterday’s game,” Lanning said.
“The great thing about T20 cricket is it comes around pretty quick
“A lot of confidence in the group heading into the Semi Finals next week, and you never know what can happen.
“(Adelaide) have got really good depth, their bowling and batting is equally good, they’ve been the best team in the competition along with the (Brisbane) Heat.
“It’s a really tough challenge for our group, but hopefully we can give them a run for their money.”