Devine intervention lifts the Strikers
Sophie Devine’s late-innings onslaught set the scene for the Adelaide Strikers as they claimed a 17-run win over the Melbourne Stars.
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Devine smacked five consecutive sixes from the final five balls of the Strikers’ innings to lead them to 4-164.
In the blink of an eye, the New Zealand allrounder went from relatively sedate 55 from 51 balls to finish unbeaten on 85 from 56.
On the receiving end of her fireworks was 18-year-old Stars leg-spinner Madeline Penna, who until that point had bowled impressively to take 3-17 from her first three overs.
Devine’s final-over flurry came against the run of play in an innings where the Strikers batters had struggled to get going, with Suzie Bates (36 off 30) and Tahlia McGrath (19 off 16) the other main contributors.
In reply, the Stars lost captain Elyse Villani (1) early before South African pair Mignon du Preez and Lizelle Lee had their team on track for an unlikely victory.
But after Lee departed for 52 off 41, well caught by Katie Mack in the deep, the wheels started to come off for the Stars as wickets tumbled.
Du Preez struck her highest WBBL score, a 51-ball 70, but when she was stumped off the bowling of leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington, the target looked beyond the Stars’ reach.
From 1-115 they collapsed to 8-147, with Wellington (3-31) leading the wicket taking while Devine’s 2-19 off four overs capped a brilliant all-round day.
Renegades cruise as Strano stars
Molly Strano starred with the ball as the Melbourne Renegades cruised to an eight-wicket win over the Hobart Hurricanes at Junction Oval.
Bucking a trend of four final-ball results, the Renegades made short work of their target of 109, reaching it with 26 deliveries to spare to seal back-to-back wins over the Hobart team.
English pair Danni Wyatt (45no) and Tammy Beaumont (37) led the way in the chase, putting on 72 runs for the second wicket after Sophie Molineux (12) was brilliantly caught by Belinda Vakarewa off her own bowling.
Vakarewa (2-16) picked up a second wicket to remove Beaumont, but the result was already beyond doubt as captain Jess Duffin (6no) ensured no further hiccups.
Bowling first, the Renegades attack ensured regular Hurricanes wickets fell, led by Strano (3-19), Maitlan Brown (2-19) and Molineux (2-24).
Strano struck two blows in the second over of the match to remove both Hurricanes openers and the wickets continued to tumble, with Heather Knight (20) top-scoring for the visitors.
The Renegades have now won back-to-back matches and have a week to recover before flying to Sydney to face the Sixers, while the Hurricanes, who have lost six on the trot, play the Sixers in Launceston on Wednesday.
Scorchers go back-to-back in Adelaide
Heather Graham starred with bat and ball as Perth Scorchers made it two wins from as many games in their weekend double-header, holding off Sydney Thunder by seven runs.
Bucking a recent trend of teams dropping a game when playing the day after a win, the Scorchers held their nerve to defend 5-151 against the top-ranked Thunder at Karen Rolton Oval.
View the full scorecard HERE
After the early losses of Amy Jones (6) and Meg Lanning (6) – the former bowled by Shabnim Ismail before the latter chopped on a wide delivery from Rene Farrell – Natalie Sciver led the recovery in an aggressive 22-ball 37.
She shared a 59-run stand with Georgia Redmayne (35) before Graham’s late-innings cameo of 33no from 20 deliveries, including two sixes, gave the Scorchers a late boost.
The Thunder came into the match without captain Rachael Haynes, absent with a foot infection, and 16-year-old young gun Phoebe Litchfield, who is completing her year 10 exams.
Nonetheless, their batters made a good fist of the chase, started by a rapid 30 from opener Naomi Stalenberg.
Thunder debutante Tahlia Wilson shone in a 39-ball 47 not out, sharing in a 57-run stand with veteran Alex Blackwell (29) but ultimately could not get her team over the line.
Graham, who finished with 3-22 from four overs, was brilliant at the death, leaking just 10 runs from the 16th and 19th overs.
To come this week:
Scorchers v Thunder, WACA | Tuesday 5.30pm AWST (8.30pm AEDT)
Hurricanes v Sixers, Invermay Park | Wednesday 11am AEDT
Stars v Heat, Junction Oval | Wednesday 2pm AEDT
Thunder v Sixers, Drummoyne Oval | Friday 7.10pm AEDT
Strikers v Stars, Nuriootpa | Saturday 2pm ACDT (2.30pm AEDT)
Thunder v Heat, Drummoyne Oval | Saturday 7.10pm AEDT
Scorchers v Heat, Drummoyne Oval | Sunday 10am AEDT
Sixers v Renegades, Drummoyne Oval | Sunday 2.10pm AEDT
We’ve got some very good news: you don’t have to wait until next weekend for your next WBBL fix!
On Tuesday night, the Scorchers host the Thunder at the WACA, while on Wednesday the Hurricanes host the Sixers in Launceston before the Stars take on the Heat at Junction Oval.
Next weekend, the Big Weekend action moves to Sydney’s Drummoyne Oval, where the Thunder will meet cross-town rivals Sydney Sixers under lights on Friday night, before taking on the Heat the following night.
On Sunday, the Scorchers play the Heat before the Sixers take on the Renegades in a replay of last year’s epic semi-final.
Elsewhere, the Strikers and Stars head to the Barossa, for a match in Nuriootpa on Saturday.