Perth Scorchers’ WBBL triumph thrills but finals format fails to fire | Megan Maurice

Adding an extra finals match like the IPL could create more excitement at the pointy end of the season

As the final of the Women’s Big Bash League rolled into town in Perth, there were no shortage of narratives at the ready. There was the Adelaide Strikers’ 26-year-old first year captain in Tahlia McGrath up against the Perth Scorchers’ 32-year-old battle-hardened captain in Sophie Devine. The momentum of the Strikers, who had won back-to-back games during the week to qualify for the final, against the well-rested Scorchers who skipped playing semi-finals altogether. The dynamic of South African internationals and married couple Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk ready to face up against each other. Two teams who had never taken out the WBBL before, both primed and ready to seal their first premiership.

After one of the most intriguing seasons of the WBBL so far, the first two finals matches had fallen a little flat. The Strikers cruised through with incredible bowling performances and simple run chases. There were plenty of skills on show – not least Amanda-Jade Wellington’s sensational bowling spell of 5-8 in Thursday’s challenger final. But in terms of memorable finishes neither game ranked up with the nail-biting semi-finals of the 2018-19 season. This only built the anticipation more, as it felt we were owed a big match.

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