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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Ruthven

Pope reveals key motivator behind Strikers win

Adelaide Strikers spinner Lloyd Pope revealed what was used to motivate the Strikers in their 50-run win over the Perth Scorchers on Saturday.  


The leg-spinner was instrumental in the Strikers’ knockout final victory, taking 4/24 and securing man of the match for his performance.  


Earlier, the Scorchers appeared to have the upper hand, with the Strikers 4/48 at one stage.  


The tide turned in the second inning when Pope and fellow spinner Cameron Boyce combined for 7 wickets, restricting the Scorchers to 105 runs and ending their hopes of a three-peat. 


In the lead-up, the West Australian published a back page, implying the Strikers were too reliant on Golden Bat winner Matt Short. 


Pope told Sports Breakfast that the back page made its way into the pre-game huddle.  


“Ryan Harris had cut that bit of newspaper out and brought it into a huddle just before we went out on the ground. We’d all seen it before,” he said.  


“(Harris) was like… ‘Come on, let's prove them wrong, use that a little bit to our advantage,’ he spoke really well about it. 


“I think it gives us a bit of belief and then obviously Shorty got knocked over pretty early, but we won that game quite convincingly. 


“The list is really strong still, and I think we've got that belief, so that's really nice.”  


Pope himself didn’t know he was playing until the flight to Perth, but had an inkling after his man of the match showing against the Sydney Thunder where he took 4/22. 

“I did quite well against the thunder, the game before, and they've been showing faith in me since then,” said Pope.  


“I was sort of doing okay, a couple of wickets and then did well against the Thunder, I got player of the match and so I thought, I think I'm in. 


“I was always preparing to play and Warney loves playing down in Western Australia, I do as well. I love the bounce that you get there, that wicket spun a bit as well,  


“I find when the ball's bouncing, I'm at my hardest to play. I think that's one of my strengths - That pitch favours me a little bit, which it's nice to bowl that.” 


Pope's Strikers come up against minor premiers Brisbane Heat on Monday Night, both vying for a place in the Grand Final.  


Brisbane lost by 39 runs in their home final against the Sixers on Friday night, sending them to the Qualifier.   The Strikers enter the must-win clash in red-hot form, winning 5 on the trot.  


Should the Strikers pip the Heat tonight, Pope will come up against his former side, the Sydney Sixers, in Wednesday’s grand final.   


Pope insists he isn’t focusing too much on coming up against his old side.  


“I'm trying not to think about that too much, just in terms of we want to win this game,” he said.   


“We want to focus all our energy into this game like we did the last one. It’s Knockout finals now, so can't afford to lose. 


“It's been the case for the Strikers for the last five games, so we’ve just got to keep the momentum, keep rolling on and we're playing really good cricket at the moment.“  

IMAGE: Shepparton News


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