Melbourne Renegades hope to take top spot, Brisbane Heat suffer costly collapse


Hurricanes in Hobart 5 for 161 (Johnston 63, du Preez 50) defeated Melbourne Renegades 109 (Moloney 3-17) by 52 races

Melbourne Renegades’ hopes of surpassing the WBBL ladder and securing a direct entry into the final took a heavy blow after suffering a crushing 52-point loss to Hobart Hurricanes

Hurricanes posted an impressive 5 for 161 thanks to a 120-race partnership between Ruth johnston and Mignon du Préez. Ellie Falconer returned 0s for 29 2.3 overs before being pulled off the offense for playing too many beamers.

The shock means that the Perth Scorchers (16 points), second, now have their destiny in their hands. The Scorchers face the Melbourne Stars in Adelaide on Saturday before ending their home and away campaign against the Sydney Sixers on Sunday. Perth’s higher net run rate means they are guaranteed to finish first if they can win against both the Stars and the Sixers.

Under the new WBBL Finals format, the team that finishes first gains direct entry into the decider. The third will face the fourth in a playoff final, with the winner of that match taking on the team placed second in what is effectively a preliminary final.

The Hurricanes entered Friday’s game at the bottom of the ladder, but their impressive bat-and-ball performance pushed them up to sixth. Johnston backed up his impressive batting display with 2-for-17 numbers with the ball, while Sasha Moloney (3-17) cleared the tail.

Sydney Thunder 5 for 162 (Johnson 52) beat Brisbane heat 9 for 153 (Redmayne 54, Harris 50) by nine points

Brisbane Heat then saw chances of finishing first, and therefore heading straight for a home final, wiped out by a batting collapse against Sydney Thunder.

Georgia Redmayne and Grace Harris opened with a stand of 99 in 11 overs as Heat chased 163, but they then crashed at 9 for 153 with only Mikayla Hinkley joining them in double digits. Harris had made 50 of 34 balls before falling to Sam Bates who knocked out Laura Kimmince, who had been promoted to No.3, two balls later.

Thunder was excellent on the pitch with Phoebe Litchfield and Anika Learoyd producing outings while Redmayne was well caught by Deepti Sharma. When Jess Jonassen broke through the fence it briefly looked like the captain could mount a late charge, but she and Hinkley fell back-to-back on Hannah Darlington before Deepti closed a nice bowling presentation with a pair of final wickets.

Sammy Jo JohnsonThunder’s half-century had been the centerpiece of Thunder’s innings as she opened again with Smriti Mandhana. The pair added a quick 58 in 6.3 overs before Litchfield joined another strong partnership for the second wicket. Three wickets then fell for six races, but Deepti and lately Darlington have provided useful races.

The highest Heat that can now finish in the table is second with one game remaining.

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