WBBL wrap: Sixers stumble, Scorchers fire as Heat qualify
Sophie Devine starred on her return from injury as a shock loss for the Sydney Sixers helped the Brisbane Heat guarantee a finals spot
21 November 2020, 10:42 PM AEST
The match-ups for the Rebel WBBL|06 finals could well be decided by Net Run Rate on the final day of the regular season with three teams battling for the remaining two spots in the top four.
Saturday’s action saw the Strikers join the Renegades and Hurricanes in dropping out of the race for finals, while the Melbourne Stars had already secured top spot.
The Sydney Sixers’ shock loss to the Renegades was a hammer blow to their chances, while it also guaranteed the Brisbane Heat a finals spot.
-@ThunderBBL need a win tomorrow to be guaranteed to qualify -@ScorchersBBL need a win tomorrow to be guaranteed to qualify -@SixersWBBL need to beat the Stars tomorrow, hope one of the Scorchers or Thunder lose and make-up a Net Run Rate deficit of at least 0.374— Rebel Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) November 21, 2020
That leaves the Perth Scorchers, Sydney Thunder (both on 14 points) and Sixers (12 points) needing to win their games on Sunday to be guaranteed a top-four finish.
The Sixers have it all to do; they must beat the ladder-leading Stars, hope one of the Scorchers or Thunder lose and also overturn a significant deficit on Net Run Rate to finish in the top four.
Sydney Thunder v Hobart Hurricanes at Drummoyne Oval
Watch live HERE from 9.30am AEDT
Perth Scorchers v Adelaide Strikers at North Sydney Oval
Watch live HERE from 10.20am AEDT
Melbourne Renegades v Brisbane Heat at Drummoyne Oval
Watch live HERE from 1.45pm AEDT
Melbourne Stars v Sydney Sixers at North Sydney Oval
Watch live HERE from 1.45pm AEDT
Melbourne Renegades beat Sydney Sixers by six wickets with five balls remaining
By Laura Jolly at North Sydney Oval
The Sydney Sixers’ finals hopes have been all but ruined by a shock six-wicket loss to the Melbourne Renegades at North Sydney Oval.
The Sixers needed a win over the Renegades to join the third- and fourth-ranked Perth Scorchers and Sydney Thunder on 14 points heading into the final day of the regular season.
They now face the incredibly unlikely task of securing a huge, net-run-rate boosting win over the ladder-leading Melbourne Stars on Sunday, while hoping either the Thunder or Scorchers suffer a heavy defeat.
After Alyssa Healy’s brilliant 38-ball 63 set the Renegades a hefty target of 167, Lizelle Lee rediscovered her best, smashing 79 from 44 deliveries.
Lee was dropped by Jodie Hicks in the opening over of the Renegades’ chase and made the Sixers pay, reaching her half-century from 32 deliveries.
The Sixers, left one bowler short after an ‘administration error’ saw Hayley Silver-Holmes unable to take the field, struggled to find a way to stop the aggressive South African who reached the ropes nine times and cleared it on four occasions.
Her onslaught finally came to an end when she holed out off the bowling of Sarah Aley, leaving the Renegades needing 24 from 25 balls.
Courtney Webb (45no from 27) also benefited from multiple lives – including one extraordinary mishap that saw Ellyse Perry and Dane van Niekerk collide – and also made the Sixers pay, joining with Carly Leeson (13no from 11no) to steer the Renegades’ home with five balls to spare.
Earlier, Healy ensured the Sixers got off to a flyer, producing her aggressive best to help her team to 0-51 at the end of the Powerplay.
She raced to a half-century from just 29 deliveries, hitting six fours and four maximums, and in partnership with Perry, the Sixers were 0-88 midway through their innings.
Molly Strano finally secured the first breakthrough in the 13th over, having Healy stumped, before Perry fell for 37 from 38 when Webb clung on to an absolute screamer at extra cover.
After they fell, Erin Burns (19 off 11) and Marizanne Kapp (22no off 17) kept the scoreboard ticking along, taking the Sixers to 4-166.
Perth Scorchers beat Hobart Hurricanes by 10 wickets with 32 balls remaining
By Laura Jolly and North Sydney Oval
Sophie Devine has returned from a back injury in devastating fashion, smashing an unbeaten 87 to lead the Perth Scorchers to a 10-wicket win over the Hobart Hurricanes.
Knowing net run rate will be decisive in the battle for finals, Devine and opening partner Beth Mooney threw everything at their chase, reaching their target of 135 with 32 balls to spare.
While Devine didn’t bowl, she showed no signs of being hampered by the lower back complaint that ruled her out of the Scorchers’ back-to-back defeats during the week, hitting eight fours and five sixes in her 87 from 53 deliveries.
Not content to just watch the Devine show from the other end, Mooney hit a speedy unbeaten 48 from the 36 balls she faced, becoming the first player to pass 3000 career WBBL runs in the process.
Earlier, a miserly performance from Taneale Peschel and some outstanding efforts in the field helped the Scorchers restrict the Hurricanes to 6-134.
Out of the running for finals, Hobart experimented with a new opening partnership as Nicola Carey joined Rachel Priest at the top, replacing an out-of-sorts Naomi Stalenberg.
Priest (8) fell victim to Peschel via a diving catch from Chloe Piparo in the second over, before captain Corinne Hall (11) became the second wicket to fall in the Powerplay, trapped lbw by Nicole Bolton.
Carey’s impressive 31-ball 36 ended with a sharp catch behind the stumps by Mooney, before two pieces of brilliance from Sarah Glenn.
First, she took an excellent diving catch at backward square leg to remove the dangerous Chloe Tryon, whose move up the order did not pay as she laboured to a 22-ball 13, before the England leg-spinner pulled off a direct hit fielding her own bowling to catch Stalenberg (9) short of her crease.
Emma Flint’s aggressive 33 from 22 helped the Hurricanes to 6-134, but it was nowhere near enough with Devine and Mooney in full flow.
Sydney Thunder beat Adelaide Strikers by five wickets with two balls remaining
By Laura Jolly at Drummoyne Oval
Sydney Thunder have kept their semi-final hopes alive and ended the Adelaide Strikers’ season with a narrow, final-over win at Drummoyne Oval.
After Sammy-Jo Johnson’s 3-25 kept the Strikers to 6-133, opener Rachel Trenaman laid the foundation for the chase with season-best 38 from 40 balls.
A move to elevate the powerful Johnson to No.3, made with the Thunder looking to improve their net run rate in a tight battle for the top four, did not pay off, as she was brilliantly caught by a diving Maddie Penna at square leg for seven.
Captain Rachael Haynes appeared immovable as she struck four boundaries to move her team closer to a crucial victory, only to be stumped off the bowling of Amanda-Jade Wellington with eight needed from eight deliveries.
But Thunder young guns Phoebe Litchfield (16no) and Tahlia Wilson (5no) held their nerve, seeing their team home with two balls to spare and five wickets in hand.
It moved the Thunder to third spot on 14 points with one game remaining against the Hurricanes on Sunday.
Earlier, Katie Mack’s second half-century of the season led the Strikers to 6-133.
Johnson struck the early blow for the Thunder, removing Adelaide opener Tahlia McGrath for 12, before Shabnim Ismail collected the prized scalp of South Africa star Laura Wolvaardt for eight.
West Indies allrounder Stafanie Taylor joined Mack in a crucial 71-run stand but after she was run out on 33, and when Mack departed shorting after reaching fifty, the Strikers innings stalled.
Brisbane Heat beat Melbourne Stars by three wickets with four balls remaining
By Laura Jolly at Drummoyne Oval
Brisbane Heat have moved closer to securing their spot in the Rebel WBBL finals, claiming a tense three-wicket win over the ladder leading Melbourne Stars.
Set 152 for victory, key contributions from captain Jess Jonassen (35 off 19), Georgia Redmayne (37 from 32) and Georgia Voll (34 from 28) put the Heat on track before Laura Kimmince (19no off 5) iced victory with four balls to spare, smacking two boundaries and an enormous six.
After Grace Harris holed out on eight in the third over, Jonassen produced her best knock of the season, hitting seven boundaries before being brought unstuck by the introduction of leg-spinner Alana King.
Voll joined opener Redmayne to put on 44 for the third wicket, the pair bringing the required run rate down to a run a ball before Redmayne was brilliantly run out by Katherine Brunt, who collected a shot off her own bowling and pulled off a direct hit.
Voll’s composure belied her 17 years as she found the boundary four times and cleared it once, before Tess Flintoff struck to keep the Stars in the hunt.
Kimmince, hero of the Heat’s recent run of success, smacked an enormous six from the final ball of the 18th over to leave 10 needed from the last two overs.
Tess Flintoff’s tidy 19th over claimed two wickets and leaked just two runs, but Kimmince iced the win in style with consecutive boundaries.
Earlier, Mignon du Preez’s fourth half-century from her last five innings powered the Stars to 5-151.
Meg Lanning headed into the match averaging 82.1 against the Heat, so it was no surprise to see a fired up Delissa Kimmince celebrate wildly when she had the Stars captain caught at gully for a second-ball duck.
Stopping in-form South Africa batter Mignon du Preez (51 off 38) proved an entirely different problem for the Heat, however, hitting eight fours and a six to reach fifty off 36 deliveries, before spinner Charli Knott finally got the key wicket two balls later.
Natalie Sciver (33 off 28) kept the scoreboard ticking over amid economical displays from Amelia Kerr (1-23) and Grace Harris (2-8), before Alana King (17no off nine) and Katherine Brunt (16no off 11) provided the late flourish.