Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Perth Scorchers: Kapp consistently restricts the runs

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Perth Scorchers bowler Marizanne Kapp has been a formidable force in the Weber Women’s Big Bash League since its inception. Not only has she taken 112 wickets across 107 games, but she’s done so at an economy rate matched by few.

Across her eight seasons in the competition, she has bowled at an economy of 5.26 runs per over, the third best economy of any bowler in the league, and tops the charts for maidens bowled.

This season has been no different; Kapp has bowled at a meagre rate of 5.13 runs per over, including 133 dot balls.

Her secret is simplicity and consistency.   

“My main thing is just trying to bowl a good line and length,” she said.

“Just your normal top of off, I know it doesn’t always work that way because you’re not going to bowl every single ball in the perfect spot, but when batters come at me, I try and find a way to still hold the dot.”

Restricting the batters’ runs, rather than looking for the wicket ball, is another layer of the veteran South African’s approach.

“I try not to bowl for wickets,” Kapp said. 

 “Even though I’m an opening bowler and you have to strike, there are different ways you can put pressure on the batter.

“When someone walks across the crease, if you want to bowl the wicket ball you’ll try and go at the stumps, and maybe work in a yorker. For me, I try not to do that. I’d rather follow them and try to bowl the dot.

“Ultimately pressure and dots in T20 cricket are just as gold as wickets.

“Even if I don’t end up with the wickets, I know my partner at the other end will probably pick up wickets.”

Another key to Kapp’s success is her mindset. 

She highlighted a desire to focus on her own game rather than getting caught up in bowling different plans to different batters.

“I’ve tried to move away from focusing too much on the batter and where they are strong,” she said.

“In general, I’m trying to stay within what I do well rather than trying to focus too much on the batters.

“Where I’ve gone for boundaries is probably me thinking ahead like, ‘okay, she might try and lap me, or she might do this or that’ and then they end up not doing that and I end up bowling a bad ball because I was ahead of the game.”

Kapp believes being adaptable has helped herself and the team enter each match with the right plan. 

“Some days you’ll arrive at training or before the game and you’ll feel like ‘okay, today the yorkers really coming out nicely or I should rather stick to bowling my back of the length,’” she said.

“Reading the wicket is something as a group we’ve done well this season, we’ve really tried to bowl according to what the wicket says.

“The biggest thing with T20 bowling is to adapt as quickly as possible once you’re out there and just think on your feet.”

The women’s game has rapidly evolved in recent years, especially in the time competitions like the Weber Women’s Big Bash has been around, increasing the competitiveness of the sport.

Kapp embraced the fact her bowling is not immune to this change. 

“The woman’s game has grown so much, and the girls are just getting stronger, and the boundaries seem to be getting smaller,” Kapp said.

“I’ve added another slower ball to my skills – to have the bumper and a few slower balls within your armoury just makes things a little bit easier for you, especially if teams are going after you.”

The Perth Scorchers continue in the hunt for a top four spot with two must win games this weekend against the Melbourne Stars (Saturday 19 November) and the Melbourne Renegades (Sunday 20 November) in the Victorian town of Moe.

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