Lanning seizes chance as 'Gades eye semis
From being out of contract to opening the batting, Anna Lanning has a chance to make her mark as the Renegades chase a finals berth
26 November 2019, 04:15 PM AEST
Anna Lanning hopes to make the most of her unexpected Big Bash opportunity as the Melbourne Renegades target a spot in the top four.
With the competition entering the final week of the regular season, the Renegades sit fifth on the table, two points behind the fourth-ranked Sydney Sixers.
They have three matches still to play, starting with one of the season’s toughest assignments against top-ranked Brisbane Heat at Allan Border Field.
Lanning missed out on a Renegades contract this year but was called in as an injury replacement after Claire Koski suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.
The 25-year-old sister of Australian captain Meg finally got her chance to don the red – for the first time, having held a Renegades contract last summer without playing a game – against the Stars on Saturday.
She replaced usual opener Sophie Molineux, who has stepped away from the game to focus on her mental health, and immediately impressed against her old side, smashing 73 from 49 deliveries in what was her highest WBBL score.
"I was very nervous in the first over," Lanning, who plays state cricket for the ACT Meteors, admitted following Saturday’s game, which saw the bottom-ranked Stars upset their local rivals.
"I’ve been working hard (but) I was pretty resigned to the fact I wasn’t going to play Big Bash this year.
"I was just getting prepared for the back half of the (50-over) WNCL.
"I’m pretty happy individually, but disappointed we didn’t get the win."
After Saturday’s shock loss, the Renegades need to win every match possible to give themselves a chance of making the finals.
A loss to the Heat on Tuesday wouldn’t be fatal to their hopes of progressing but would leave them relying on the Sixers dropping at least one of their remaining games, while net run rate could also come into the equation.
"We know we’ve got to keep winning now so it’s a great place to start," Renegades coach Tim Coyle said.
"We’ve come away from Ballarat being disappointed (in losing to the Stars), yes, but there’s a strong resolve in the change room now to right that wrong and get back on the winners’ list.
"In some ways, we’ve got a lot more to play for because they’ve qualified (for finals) and we haven’t."
The Renegades and Heat met in Melbourne last Wednesday, when the Heat held on to claim a narrow six-run win.
"I thought that was a game we let go, I really thought we should have won," Coyle said.
"We had a really good start with the bat and we fell over chasing what was a really gettable total."
Meanwhile, Coyle was full of praise for Lanning’s debut knock.
"It just shows if you keep ticking it over and believe in yourself, you can get that opportunity and it can happen," Coyle said.
"I’m really pleased for her. It was a tough year for her last year, she was with the squad all year and didn’t play a game, that’s not easy but she was close.
"Anna’s got an opportunity for the next few games to really post some numbers, which would be great for her."
The Heat and Renegades go head to head at Allan Border Field from 1.10pm local time (2.10pm AEDT) on Wednesday, with a free live stream to be available on cricket.com.au, the CA Live app and the WBBL Facebook page, or watch via Kayo.