WBBL wrap: Gades' win thriller, Sixers fight for survival
Jess Duffin's brilliant chase puts the Renegades in the box seat while the Sixers are fighting for survival
30 November 2019, 06:31 PM AEST
It all comes down to this:
Four regular-season matches left to play, and five teams still alive in WBBL|05.
The Strikers, Heat and Scorchers are secure, but the right to host the Finals Weekend is still up for grabs. If Adelaide win, it is all theirs. If they lose and Brisbane win, we'll be headed to Allan Border Field.
Renegades v Thunder | 10.40am AEDT | Junction Oval
Stars v Heat | 3pm AEDT | Junction Oval
Sixers v Strikers | 2pm AEDT | Hurstville Oval
Scorchers v Hurricanes | 2pm AWST (5pm AEDT) | Lilac Hill
Catch the Renegades v Thunder on 7Cricket, Fox Cricket, or live streamed via Kayo and the CA Live app, with radio coverage on the ABC; the rest of the action will be streamed live on the CA Live app, WBBL Facebook Page and Kayo
The Sixers' historic loss to the Strikers at Hurstville Oval (more on that below) means the Renegades' destiny is in their own hands.
Defeat the Thunder at Junction Oval on Sunday morning and by the time the Sixers take the field for a second showdown against the Strikers at 2pm, their season will be over.
With two matches to play tomorrow, here's where the ladder's at! Tomorrow will be veerrrryyy interesting.#WBBL05 pic.twitter.com/833r1DfO2E— Rebel Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) November 30, 2019
But a Renegades loss will set up a thrilling conclusion to the regular season, with the Sixers needing to win and finish with a higher net run rate than the Renegades in order to advance.
Out west, the Scorchers are safe in the knowledge they'll be playing semi-finals, but the result of their second match against the Hurricanes will determine their opponent.
Sydney Thunder woke up on Saturday morning with their season still alive but by 1.30pm AEDT it was over, with the Renegades' win over the Stars leaving them unable to sneak into the four.
Brilliant Strikers make history, smash Sixers
Adelaide Strikers are in the box seat to host the Rebel WBBL finals after smashing the Sydney Sixers by eight wickets at Hurstville Oval.
After restricting the Sixers to a well below-par 9-93, Sophie Devine continued her irresistible form with the bat to see the Strikers home with 29 balls to spare.
Her unbeaten 46 sealed the Strikers’ first ever win over their magenta rivals and moved her team to the top of the table, ahead of the Brisbane Heat.
Devine herself moved to the top of the league runs tally, with 639 from 13 innings ahead of Beth Mooney’s 622.
Having lost four consecutive matches and without star captain Ellyse Perry, the Sixers desperately needed a win to keep their finals destiny in their own hands.
But a brilliant bowling performance led by Sarah Coyte (3-9 from four overs) and Megan Schutt (2-12 from four) saw the Sixers’ star batters fall cheaply.
In the opening over of the match, Schutt had Alyssa Healy holing out to Devine at deep backward square leg for a five-ball duck.
She would collect a second in her next over, bowling Ashleigh Gardner (1), before the Sixers managed to score a run off her.
Coyte then tore through the middle order, removing internationals Hollie Armitage (11) and Marizanne Kapp (20), while McGrath bowled Australian allrounder Erin Burns.
From 5-53 there was no recovery for the Sixers despite Dane van Niekerk’s fighting 19.
Sixers quick Kapp castled Suzie Bates in the first over of Adelaide’s chase but any hopes of a fightback were dashed when Devine was joined by Tahlia McGrath (30).
The latter fell in the 12th over with just 20 runs required, Bridget Patterson (11no) joining Devine to steer Adelaide home.
Renegades in box seat for semis after derby thriller
A brilliant captain’s knock from Jess Duffin gave the Melbourne Renegades’ finals hopes a major boost on Saturday as she led her team to a six-wicket win over the Melbourne Stars.
Requiring 163 for victory after a whirlwind 70 from Stars opener Lizelle Lee, Duffin produced another perfectly timed chase, finishing unbeaten on 76 from 57 deliveries as the Renegades claimed victory with a ball to spare.
The Renegades’ chase had gotten off to a horror start when Anna Lanning (4) was bowled by Erin Osborne before Danni Wyatt was run out following a mix-up with compatriot Tammy Beaumont the following over.
Joined by Duffin, Beaumont steadied proceedings but just as she started to score freely she was caught after miscuing a ramp shot off the bowling of Tess Flintoff, out for a 19-ball 24.
But there was no stopping Duffin, who continued what’s been an outstanding season with the bat to bring up a half-century from 43 deliveries, sharing in an 81-run stand with Courtney Webb (30) before the Stars’ hopes were reignited when the latter fell to an athletic one-handed catch from Elyse Villani.
With 21 runs required from the final two overs, Duffin was joined by Georgia Wareham (17no from 11), who found the boundary twice to help Duffin steer the Renegades home with one ball to spare.
Earlier, a brilliant 118-run opening stand from Lee and Villani (45) laid the foundation for the Stars, as the Renegades were left searching for a way to stem the flow of runs.
Lee brought up a half-century from 32 deliveries, her fourth of the season, routinely finding the boundary as she and Villani put on the largest opening stand in Stars’ history.
Desperately searching for a wicket, Duffin threw the ball to spearhead Lea Tahuhu, opting to bowl out the New Zealand speedster prematurely to try and make something happen.
Tahuhu did not pick up a wicket but leaked just three runs and the pressure paid off next over when Molly Strano (2-249) had Lee brilliantly caught on the boundary by a running Anna Lanning, before Villani was bowled two balls later.
From there the Stars faltered, scoring just 14 runs from the next five overs and losing 4-8 in 19 balls as Mignon du Preez (2) and Annabel Sutherland (2) fell in quick succession.
A late burst from Erin Osborne (22no from 19) and Nicole Fultum (16no from 12) handed back some momentum late in the innings, carrying the Stars to 4-162.
Scorchers slip up at home against Hurricanes
Perth Scorchers have suffered a pre-finals stumble, going down to the Hobart Hurricanes by six wickets at Lilac Hill.
The Scorchers were bowled out for 107, before Hurricanes opener Erin Fazackerley struck a career-best 58 off 47 balls to steer the Hurricanes to victory with 25 deliveries to spare.
The defeat ended any hopes Perth had of snatching top spot and the right to host the WBBL finals next weekend.
Speedster Tayla Vlaeminck did the early damage for the Hurricanes, removing openers Amy Jones (4) and Meg Lanning (10), while new-ball partner Belinda Vakarewa accounted for Georgia Redmayne (5).
Natalie Sciver (21) and Bolton (21) made starts but couldn’t go on with it, as routine wickets fell.
Vlaeminck finished with 2-19, while Vakarewa (1-17) was also economical.
The Scorchers struck two early blows to have Hobart 2-16 inside the first two overs but had no answer for Fazackerley who found the boundary five times and cleared it twice.
She was supported by captain Corinne Hall (18no), before Chloe Tryon hit a straight six to seal victory for the seventh-ranked Hurricanes.