WBBL wrap: 'Gades shock Heat in record chase
Melbourne Renegades reignited their push for a top-four spot with a stunning win in Brisbane, while the Thunder remain alive after seeing off the Stars
27 November 2019, 05:53 PM AEST
Wyatt, Duffin the heroes in record run chase
Brilliant half-centuries from Danni Wyatt and Jess Duffin have powered the Melbourne Renegades to the highest successful run chase in Rebel WBBL history.
Set a target of 184 by the table-topping Brisbane Heat, thanks to fifties from Beth Mooney and Jess Jonassen, the Renegades pulled off a stunning six-wicket win with an over to spare.
Their win sets up a blockbuster final weekend of the regular season, with four teams to battle it out for the two remaining semi-final spots.
After Mooney (86 off 57) and Jonassen (51 off 34) put the Renegades bowling attack to the sword on a batting-friendly Allan Border Field wicket, the visitors had a horror start to their chase when opener Anna Lanning (5) was run out in the second over.
But England star Wyatt was in a mood, putting on 74 for the second wicket with compatriot Tammy Beaumont (23) and bringing up a half-century from just 34 deliveries.
Joined by in-form skipper Jess Duffin, Wyatt found the boundary 11 times and cleared it twice before finally holing out off the bowling of Georgia Prestwidge in the 16th over for a 55-ball 87.
With 34 runs still required from 26 deliveries, Duffin continued the attack, bringing up a 27-ball half-century – the fastest by a Renegades player – before Georgia Wareham sealed victory with a boundary at the end of the 19th over.
Earlier, Mooney passed the 600-run mark for the season in her blazing half-century, overtaking Strikers star Sophie Devine as the season’s leading run scorer.
After a 48-run opening stand with Maddy Green (20), Mooney put on 115 with Jonassen before being caught off the bowling of Wyatt (2-26) in the 19th over.
Jonassen followed four balls later - also slicing to Carly Leeson off the bowling of Wyatt - after bringing up her second fifty of the season as the Heat finished on 4-183.
Defeat means the Heat – who had former player and current world No.1 tennis star Ash Barty watching on in the dugout – must defeat the Stars in Melbourne on Sunday and hope the Adelaide Strikers drop at least one of their upcoming matches against the Sixers in order to host the WBBL finals.
The Renegades remain fifth on the table but now level on points with the fourth-ranked Sixers; both clubs have two matches remaining this weekend.
Thunder stay alive after seeing off Stars
Sydney Thunder have kept their slim WBBL semi-final hopes alive with an 18-run win over the Melbourne Stars in Canberra.
Batting first at Manuka Oval, Alex Blackwell’s brilliant 47-ball 65 helped the Thunder post 6-162, with a half-century from South African Mignon Du Preez not enough for the bottom-ranked Stars in the chase.
After sending the Thunder in to bat, Stars quick Annabel Sutherland made an early inroad when she bowled in-form opener Rachel Priest for 12, before Naomi Stalenberg’s cameo of 30 from 21 came to an end when she was stumped off the bowling of leg-spinner Alana King.
But they had no answers for Blackwell, who wound back the clock at a venue where she has historically thrived, hitting nine fours and one six before being dismissed for 65 in the penultimate over.
Contributions from Rachael Haynes (12), Phoebe Litchfield (17) and Hannah Darlington (10no) helped the Thunder to 6-162, before Rene Farrell gave them a dream start with the ball, trapping big-hitting Protea Lizelle Lee (0) with her second delivery.
Stars skipper Elyse Villani (43 from 35) put on 78 with du Preez for the second wicket but after both were dismissed the task before too much for the Stars batting line-up as they finished on 5-144.
Farrell (2-28) led the wicket taking, while left-arm spinner Sam Bates (1-20) was economical across her four-over spell.
The Thunder remain sixth on the table with one game remaining against the Renegades in Melbourne on Sunday.
But their fate may already be out of their hands by then, if either the Renegades or Sixers – both one point ahead of the Thunder and each with a game in hand – win their matches, against the Stars and Strikers respectively, on Saturday.
Alrighty then! 👀 HUGE final weekend of the regular #WBBL05 season coming up... pic.twitter.com/0vYPQONBMv— Rebel Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) November 27, 2019
To come this weekend:
It all comes down to this! Seven regular season matches remaining and six teams still alive in WBBL|05.
The Heat and Strikers are secure in the top four but will be battling it out alongside the third-ranked Scorchers for the right to host the Finals Weekend from December 7-8.
The Scorchers are in the box seat to stay in the top four, while the Sixers, Renegades and Thunder are the other teams battling it out for the final four.
It's Melbourne's turn to host the Big Weekend at Junction Oval, starting with a derby between the Stars and Renegades on Saturday at 10.40am AEDT.
On Sunday, the Renegades meet the Thunder (10.40am) before the Stars play the Heat (3pm).
In Sydney, the Sixers and Strikers will meet twice at Hurstville Oval, on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm, while out west, the Scorchers play the Hurricanes twice at Lilac Hill, with both matches beginning at 2pm local (5pm AEDT).