Will Taneale Peschel, Sarah Glenn nullify Melbourne Stars' 'power' play?

S Sudarshanan
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Will Taneale Peschel, Sarah Glenn nullify Melbourne Stars' 'power' play?

Taneale Peschel (l) and Sarah Glenn © Getty Images/Women's CricZone

Taneale Peschel’s first wicket in WBBL06 was Amy Satterthwaite; she undid the Melbourne Renegades captain with her pace. It was pitched on a length, and got to Satterthwaite quicker than she expected. She could only pull it towards mid-on for a simple catch.

Peschel has 13 wickets in the season so far and most of those victims have been done for pace. The right-arm pacer’s speeds have been in the range of 110kmph to 120kmph. What’s more, she has managed to maintain an economy rate of under six runs-an-over while being the second-highest wicket-taker for Perth Scorchers.

However, the road to her success this season hasn’t been all that smooth. She had a left foot injury – a tear in the ligament that connects the heel to the front of the foot, and couldn’t run for about four months, as she revealed in a chat with cricket.com.au.

“I was in a moon boot for four weeks and then out of the boot for six weeks and had it rescanned, and it was the same, if not worse,” she was quoted as saying.

The success would now taste sweeter for Peschel having been named in the WBBL Team of the Tournament, with a chance to help Scorchers qualify for the final looming.

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Sarah Glenn, on the other hand, has been the perfect ice for Peschel’s fire. She’s had a breakthrough season in international cricket right from her debut last December, and she’s carried her form and confidence from her player of the series show for England against West Indies late September into the WBBL. She’s picked 16 wickets so far – joint third in WBBL06 – and has given runs at just a shade over six runs per over.

As a friendly reminder of the package that she brings to the Scorchers’ table, Glenn returned 4 for 18 against Adelaide Strikers in their last league game. She tossed the ball up and her speeds ranged around the 65 to 77 kmph mark – a stark contrast from Peschel’s fiery volleys.

No wonder the duo hold one of the keys to Scorchers in the semi-final against Melbourne Stars on Wednesday (November 25); the other key pair being the opening combination of Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine, on whom they’ve relied a lot. Mooney knew as much about the importance of the ‘fire & ice’ combo of Scorchers and heaped praise on Peschel and Glenn.

“They’ve been unbelievably impressive. I hadn’t seen a lot of Sarah Glenn and I hadn’t seen much of Taneale Peschel either,” said Mooney on the eve of the semi-final during an online press conference.

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“So for them to come out and bowl the really tough overs in the power play and at the back end and do as well as they have is really impressive for us as a group and got us into really strong positions throughout the power play and at the end of the bowling innings. I’ve got no doubt that they’ll do exactly the same job they’ve done throughout this tournament (on Wednesday) and put the Stars under a lot of pressure in their batting innings.”

“They’ve been a real find for us. Glenny coming across from the UK and really new on the scene in international cricket, she’s been one I’ve been really impressed with just the way she goes about her business and how much she loves the game and loves getting the contests.”

In the power play, which is where Stars often blaze their way to quick starts, Peschel has eight wickets while Glenn has five so far. Moreover, Glenn has got the better of Villani in both their previous meets in WBBL06.

Will the Stars top-order comprising Villani, Meg Lanning, Mignon du Preez and Natalie Sciver be taken aback by what Pescel and Glenn have to throw at them? Or will the Scorchers' bowling pair be taken to the cleaners?