WBBL round-up – Harmanpreet Kaur’s chasing champion class, Deepti Sharma helps Thunder go back-to-back


A summary of the latest action from the WBBL with all the teams back in action on Sunday

Melbourne Renegades 4 for 162 (Harmanpreet 73 *) beat Adelaide Strikers 5 for 160 (van Niekerk 62, Wolvaardt 47) with six wickets

A magnificent lap from Harmanpreet Kaur was the centerpiece of Melbourne Renegades’ victory as they went to the top of the table with a big chase. Harmanpreet hit five sixes in her innings with 46 balls, where she timed the acceleration perfectly in the second half to enable them to come home with two balls left when Sophie Molineux found the limit twice in her three deliveries.

Midway through the hunt, Renegades was far behind by 2 to 55 – despite Jemimah Rodrigues’ quick innings – and needed 106 from 60 balls, but then Harmanpreet took charge after being 10 of 16 balls. Consecutive sixes against Amanda-Jade Wellington signaled the change as the required rate was kept rich. Josie Dooley played his role just like Jess Duffin, but Harmanpreet was the game changer. In the 18th over, she took advantage of a free kick from a Darcie Brown beamer to flick another six over a fine leg and then sent excellent Sarah Coyte over cover in the 19th.

She had previously played her part with the ball with a couple of late wickets to keep the Renegades within reach. Another wicket stand at 73 between South African teammates Dane van Niekerk and Laura Wolvaardt and dominated the first part. van Niekerk was the aggressor until he dropped lbw, after which Wolvaardt was able to find the boundary late as 33 came from the last three overs, but that was still not enough.

Sydney Sixers 3 for 161 (Healy 94 *) strokes Perth Scorchers 9 for 117 (Bolton 3-11) with 45 runs

Alyssa Healy took the lead with the bat, and Nicole Bolton snatched three wickets against her former club as the Sydney Sixers lifted themselves back in the middle of an overloaded points table with an emphatic victory.

Healy dominated the Sixers’ innings with 58% of their total as she fell one stroke below her fifth WBBL hundred. She formed a 101-run opening tribune with Ellyse Perry, but there may still be questions about the scoring rate next to her, even if it did not make a difference on this occasion. Ash Gardner, who has had a slim tournament so far, made 8 of 16 balls at No. 3.

Scorchers never made an impression on the hunt. Sophie Devine could not get started until she was fantastically caught on the midwicket by Lauren Cheatle, who also bowled superbly with 2 for 13 including 14 for balls in her four overs. But it was the spinners who went through the inning, with Bolton and Radha Yadav taking 5 for 33 in six overs between them. Bolton removed Chloe Piparo, who was sent in as No. 3, and Chamari Athapaththu in four balls, and when Yadav claimed Beth Mooney in the next round the game was over.

Melbourne stars 2 for 99 strokes Brisbane Heat 9 for 95 (Sutherland 3-21) with eight wickets

Tabletops Brisbane Heat were knocked over by the Melbourne Stars after they could only handle 95 from their 20 overs. It was a stark contrast to Saturday’s performance as opening pair Grace Harris and Georgia Redmayne added 140 against the Hobart Hurricanes.

Less than 24 hours later, Redmayne caught lbw in the opening over by Kim Garth, and that set the tone for a poor batting display. Harris tried to hold the inning together, but was thrown as she swung over the line at Tess Flintoff. Laura Kimmince’s lean season, in which she has not come out of singles, continued as she scooped up the goalkeeper gloves to give Annabel Sutherland one of her three wickets. None of the Stars bowlers participated in a run-a-ball.

Elyse Villani was quickly out of the blocks in the chase, making 26 of the 30-run openings in position with Meg Lanning before sitting back. With no pressure on the scoring level, Lanning, who has been low on runs, was able to play on his own while Maia Bouchier ticked comfortably.

Sydney Thunder 6 for 146 (Mandhana 50) beat Hobart hurricanes 8 for 109 (du Preez 41, Deepti 3-13) with 37 runs

Defending champions Sydney Thunder ended a weekend boom to kickstart their season with another two-day victory as they dominated the Hobart Hurricanes.

Smriti Mandhana formed the basis of Thunder’s innings with her second half century of the tournament, while Phoebe Litchfield (31 of 25), Deepti Sharma (20 of 15) and Sammy-Jo Johnson (13 of 9) added momentum. Tayla Vlaeminck had made an early breakthrough, but left-hander Mandhana and Litchfield added 70 in eight overs for the second wicket. The fifth over of innings from Vlaeminck lasted 10 balls.

Mandhana did not find the best gear and was out of the ball after reaching the fifties when Nicola Carey pulled the Thunder back, but her last over, on the 19th, cost 15 against Deepti and Johnson.

Issy Wong provided a huge breakthrough second ball as Rachel Priest ran to cover and the Hurricanes fell behind the required rate. Mignon du Preez threatened to turn things around, but became Deeptis’ second wicket, and the Hurricanes fell away from 2 to 66. Deeptis 3 for 13, after her practical innings, provided the player of the match with the award.


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