Wanted to win first and foremost: Sophie Devine

Sophie Devine celebrates a win with her teammates. © Getty Images

Perth Scorchers managed to break their string of losses with an emphatic 10-wicket thrashing of Hobart Hurricanes, a victory that came off the back of a belligerent knock from Sophie Devine. The Perth Scorchers skipper scored an unbeaten 87 off just 53 deliveries to help her side overhaul their 135-run target in just 14.4 overs.

The win means Scorchers are still alive in the competition, third on the table, with 14 points to their credit. They are ahead of Sydney Thunder on Net Run Rate, thanks largely to Devine’s belligerent performance.

“I think when you get the job done none down it’s nice,” Devine told reporters after the game on Saturday (November 21). “I think sometimes when the competition is as tight as is it and net run rates and things can come into the equation, the most important thing is to get a win on the board and that’s what me and Beth spoke about there in the middle – is we wanted to win the game first and foremost and then let run rate sort itself out.”

The skipper said she always believed her side would turn their form around despite two close losses in the last two games, adding that she was also thrilled with the way they performed under pressure, managing to pull out their best fielding performance in the competition against the Hurricanes.

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“You can’t get too disappointed when you lose by four (wickets) and six runs. We know that we were close and there were areas that we needed to tidy up on,” she said of the losses to Melbourne Stars and Brisbane Heat last week.

“I thought today we were outstanding in the field – that was one of our better fielding efforts. Beth behind the stumps taking an absolute ripper and I thought Sarah Glenn was amazing. It’s really positive signs for us.”

“You’ve always got to be evolving and adapting and learning from your mistakes, because you’re going to make ‘em, it’s inevitable, but it’s what you do from them. I was pleased for the girls to go out there and put up a strong performance.”

That Scorchers were able to restrict the Hurricanes to a sub-par total of 134 was down to the efforts of the bowling group. All of Nicole Bolton, Taneale Peschel, Heather Graham and Samantha Betts picked up wickets at perfect times, never allowing the batters to take the upper hand.

Devine heaped praise on Peschel who has been the side’s most successful bowler through the sixth season of the Women’s Big Bash League picking up 13 wickets so far. On Saturday she took the big wicket of Rachael Priest at the start of the innings before fellow pacer Betts knocked the wind out of Hurricanes innings removing both Nicola Carey and Chloe Tryon in the 12th over.

“I think Taneale has been outstanding. I think enough credit doesn’t go to her. Bowlers that can bowl in the powerplay and in the death at crucial times at batters that are generally going hard at them and to have an [economy] rate like she has, and to take key wickets it speaks volumes of her hard work that she’s put in, not just in the pre-season, but a couple of years building now. I’m really pleased for her.”

“For Bettsy to come into the side and we know her skillset, and she executed as well. That’s exactly what you want – whoever you bring into your starting XI that’s what you want, [for] them to come in, back themselves and their skills and you want them to execute.”

Having missed the previous two games with a back niggle, Devine did not bowl on Saturday. She admitted not being 100% fit, and said that she wasn’t sure whether she would in fact take the ball on Sunday’s game against her old side Adelaide Strikers.

“It’s not too bad,” she said of her injury. “Obviously, I’m probably not quite 100%, but its nice to just get back out there with the girls.”

“The long-term goal is to get back bowling, but we’re taking it day by day at the moment. It sort of depends on a few different things, we don’t want to risk it and push things too hard, but if there is the opportunity (to bowl), then absolutely,” she concluded.

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