We back our middle-order to do the job in knockouts: Scorchers skipper Sophie Devine

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

Perth Scorchers captain Sophie Devine has said that although their middle-order stumbled against Adelaide Strikers, she would back them to do well in the knockouts of the sixth edition of the Women’s Big Bash League.

“I think we back them 100 per cent to do the job. They’re fantastic cricketers. To be able to perform and finish games off like that, we do back them,” Devine told the reporters after the match on Sunday (November 22).

“You look at the calibre of the players Amy Jones, Nicole Bolton and Heather Graham, who wasn’t available today… Even Jemma Barsby and Piepa Cleary has been outstanding and scored runs earlier in the competition,” she added.

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Chasing 160, the Scorchers were cruising at 118 for one after 14 overs. The wicket of Jones triggered a mini-collapse as they went from 124 for two to 138 for five. The Scorchers eventually fell short by three runs.

Despite the loss, Devine said that there were positives for them to take from the game going into the semifinals. “I guess our finals hopes are still alive. We got to stay really positive, and I think there are a lot of really good things to (take away) today. I thought, our bowling, Sarah Glenn, was again outstanding.”

Coming back from the back injury, Devine has been in red hot form with the bat with back-to-back half-centuries. However, she has not bowled in the last two games. Devine said that they are taking the cautious approach so that she would be fit to bowl in the knockouts when required.

“Yeah, that’s certainly the plan. Today, I think we probably didn’t want to risk it. If I start, I probably would have bowled four on the run. Taking a cautious approach there, we can get to the final four, and I will be there 100% performing with bat and ball.”

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On batting alongside Beth Mooney, Devine said that they complement each other well, adding, “She is so calm and controlled and how she plays her innings takes a bit of pressure off me.”

“She’s obviously the world’s best batter for a good reason. For me, it’s awesome to have some couple of good partnerships. It’s certainly nice to get our team to the winning position at the top of the order.”

The Scorchers skipper was all praise for the young Strikers seamer Darcie Brown, who troubled Devine with some short-pitched bowling. “She (Brown) is great, and she is extremely talented. I think its really exciting, this tournament unveiled a couple of really good bowlers, which is great for the women’s game. Certainly, I know that the Strikers are really lucky to have her.”

Devine was thrilled about the prospect of playing the knockouts. She said that it would be a clean slate and there would be equal pressure on everyone to perform.

“I love knockout cricket. It’s game on. I think it’s the best type of cricket to play. Put yourself under pressure, everything’s on the line, and I think it’s really exciting. If we get there, we would be putting in our best to win,” Devine concluded.

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