Meg is pos­i­tively in­spir­ing, even to op­po­nents

Sunday Herald Sun - - Cricket - ELIZA SEWELL

MEL­BOURNE Stars skip­per Meg Lan­ning is in the kind of form that sug­gests to­day at the MCG could be her big­gest bash of the sum­mer.

With scores this week of 50 off 42 balls and 97 not out off 72, which in­cluded 11 fours and three sixes, Lan­ning’s hero­ics were over­shad­owed only by record-break­ing New Zealan­der So­phie Devine, who posted the first cen­tury of WBBL02 off 48 balls.

While Mel­bourne Rene- gades coach Lach­lan Stevens knows Lan­ning is ca­pa­ble of break­ing his young team to­day, he also sees a positive.

“When you come up against th­ese play­ers and you see how good they are and how dy­namic they are and see where they’ve taken the game, it’s great for you as a player be­cause you get an im­me­di­ate un­der­stand­ing of what you need to be,” Stevens said.

Aus­tralian coach Matthew Mott said last week that cricket didn’t re­alise how lucky it was to have Lan­ning.

“She’s gen­uinely a once in a gen­er­a­tion bat­ter,” Mott said.

“She should be an ex­tremely great role model for this next gen­er­a­tion now that gets to play along­side her and against her.”

Lan­ning’s wicket is cru­cial to a Rene­gades up­set, but just how to cap­ture it is the tough­est ques­tion.

“I think the best way to get Meg out some­times is to run her out,” Stevens said.

“She’s just a won­der­ful player. There’s sides all around the world who have had that con­ver­sa­tion that many times.

“I’m sure peo­ple have talk- ed un­til they can’t talk any more about how to get Meg Lan­ning out. There’s so many the­o­ries and so many ideas and none of them have worked be­cause she’s just a won­der­ful cricket player.”

Stevens hopes the young Rene­gades will cre­ate an op­por­tu­nity and pounce.

“We’re go­ing to come up against Meg and other very, very good play­ers in the Stars who can bat around her,” he said.

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