rebel WBBL|01

WBBL finals race to go down to the wire

Hurricanes advance as the Strikers and Scorchers kept their seasons alive in a big day of WBBL action

Isabelle Westbury and Laura Jolly

16 January 2016, 05:00 PM

With just four matches remaining in the Rebel Women's Big Bash League regular season the race for the finals remains wide open.

Only Sydney Thunder and Hobart Hurricanes have cemented their places in the semi-finals, while another five teams are in the running for the last two berths. Only the Melbourne Renegades cannot make it.

Quick single: Sixers stretch streak to seven

However the Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars have the advantage of having their fates in their own hands. Should they win their respective matches tomorrow, they go through to the finals. If either team loses, the door opens for the chasing teams and net run rate comes into play.

Hurricanes seal finals berth in thriller

A final-ball victory by the Hobart Hurricanes saw them join the Sydney Thunder among the teams guaranteed to play in the Rebel Women's Big Bash League semi-finals.

The Hurricanes toppled the Melbourne Stars by six wickets in a low-scoring thriller at Spotless Stadium, with Corinne Hall scoring the winning run on the final ball of the match.

Another strong performance with the ball and in the field helped the Hurricanes restrict the Stars to 7-96.

New Zealand international Amy Satterthwaite made the crucial breakthrough when she bowled Stars skipper Meg Lanning for 22 and while internationals Natalie Sciver (20) and Mignon du Preez (16) contributed, it was only enough to muster together a below-par total.

Hurricanes skipper Heather Knight continued to boost her all-round credentials, picking up 3-7 with her off-spin, while seamers Veronica Pyke and Julie Hunter were again economical at the top of the bowling attack, continuing their strong tournaments.

The Stars made big strikes early in the Hurricanes' chase, removing Knight (7) and fellow international Hayley Matthews (8). When Pyke and Erin Burns followed it left Hobart in a precarious position at 4-49, before Corinne Hall and Satterthwaite combined in a successful partnership, scoring 27 not out apiece as they navigated their way to the final-ball win.

While the Hurricanes are assured of semi-finals action, the Stars now need to beat the top-of-the-table Thunder tomorrow at Sydney University to be assured of a semi-final berth. Should they lose, they will be relying on net run rate and other results going their way to advance.

Strikers keep season alive, Heat rue costly defeat

A fighting half-century from Jess Jonassen was not enough for the Brisbane Heat to steal victory against the Adelaide Strikers at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, a loss that looks likely to end the team in teal's WBBL|01 campaign.

Chasing the Strikers' 5-140, the Heat fell just short of their target, finishing 7-134.

Batting first, another middle-order rally saved the Strikers and allowed them to build a decent total. Yesterday it was captain Lauren Ebsary with an unbeaten 49, today it was Bridget Patterson who scored 43 not out from 38 balls.

With everyone chipping in, the Strikers looked more like a team and less like a one-man band reliant on England star Sarah Taylor. Both today and yesterday Taylor failed to make a big score, but importantly, others stepped up. 

That sort of all-round consistency has been a big part of the Hurricanes and Thunder's success and reflected in their high positions on the table.

Shelley Nitschke joined in with Patterson to guide the Strikers to 5-140, while for the Heat, Grace Harris was the pick of the Heat’s bowlers (2-19), while Kate Cross continued to look damaging spearheading the bowling attack.  

Heat openers Grace Harris and Beth Mooney dominated the early part of the tournament but have struggled for consistency post-Christmas and the same proved true against the Strikers, as Mooney departed for one and Harris for a duck, victims of Southern Stars seamers Sarah Coyte and Megan Schutt respectively.

Jess Jonassen (56 not out) and Lauren Winfield (36) did a superb job to rebuild the innings and keep the Heat in the chase,. When Delissa Kimmince came to the crease, the equation was 48 needed off 24 - a target that became 24 from 14 after she blasted 33 off just 12 balls.

However her departure proved the tipping point and two good final overs from Sam Betts and Sarah Coyte ensured the Heat fell short of a crucial victory. 

It was the Heat's final match of the regular season, as they finished with seven wins from 14 matches. They remained in the top four after the defeat, but to stay there, they would need the Sydney Sixers to lose both of their remaining matches, the Strikers to lose to the Melbourne Renegades on Sunday, and the Perth Scorchers to drop at least one of their remaining two matches.

The Strikers also remain in the running for finals, but their hopes rest on a win over the Renegades on Sunday and on other results falling in their favour.

Scorchers keep the finals door open

A blistering half-century from Elyse Villani has propelled the Perth Scorchers to a nine-wicket win over the Renegades in Adelaide.

Chasing the Renegades 6-130, the Scorchers lost opener Charlotte Edwards for 15 before Villani (72 not out off 50) and Suzie Bates (38 not out off 25) combined to see Perth home with four overs to spare.

Earlier, Dane van Niekerk and Sarah Elliott were the only shining lights in an otherwise disappointing Renegades' innings. Van Niekerk top scored with 52 off 44 balls, ably supported by Elliott's 35 off 30, but no other batters reached double figures, brought undone by the bowling of Katherine Brunt (2-12) and Nicky Shaw (2-19).

Finals are still a long shot for the Scorchers, but they remain a chance and will need to beat the Renegades again tomorrow and hope other results go their way.

Sunday's WBBL action    

Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Stars, Sydney University (10am) 

Sydney Sixers v Hobart Hurricanes, Hurstville (10am) 

Melbourne Renegades v Adelaide Strikers, Adelaide Oval (10.30am) 

Melbourne Renegades v Perth Scorchers, Adelaide Oval (3pm)