An explosive captain’s knock from Meg Lanning has guided the Perth Scorchers to a thrilling, rain-affected eight-wicket victory over the Melbourne Renegades at the WACA Ground.
A blazing unbeaten 74 from England star Danni Wyatt, from just 51 deliveries, had propelled the Renegades to 1-134 after rain delays saw their innings cut to 15 overs.
Then, with the equation revised to 39 from 18 after further wet weather, Lanning struck a stunning 44no from 24 balls, icing the final-ball victory with a six.
At one point, Lanning had been on two from 10 deliveries, before she blasted 42 from the next 14 to seal the much-needed win.
The Renegades were left to rue wasted chances, with ‘keeper Josie Dooley missing a chance to stump Lanning on 11, while fellow opener Amy Jones was dropped on 10.
Renegades skipper Jess Duffin made the risky call of throwing the penultimate over to leg-spinner Georgia Wareham but it immediately paid off with Jones (23) stumped by Dooley before Nat Sciver (0) was bowled with her next delivery.
But there was no hat-trick for Wareham and the game took another sharp turn when Lanning got herself on strike, clearing the rope with a superb lofted drive back over Wareham’s head before she expertly swept to find the fence, leaving the Scorchers needing 13 from the final six deliveries.
Nicole Bolton then did what she needed to do – get Lanning on strike – with the first ball of Molly Strano’s final over; her skipper then hitting 4, 2, 4 before a dot left Perth needing two from the final ball.
The Renegades took their time deliberating their approach but it was to no avail, as Lanning’s third six delivered victory.
Adding injury to insult for the Renegades, allrounder Claire Koski landed awkwardly when diving to save Lanning's second four of that final over, appearing to seriously injure her shoulder before being helped from the ground.
Earlier, Renegades openers Wyatt and Sophie Molineux made a fast start after being sent in, taking 26 runs from the first three overs before rain interrupted play.
The brief delay proved to be the concentration-breaker the Scorchers needed, with Molineux holing out to Bolton for 20 off 17 soon after play resumed, but there was no stopping Wyatt.
She brought up a half-century from 35 deliveries and was handed a reprieve on 59 when Lanning dropped a high chance before the rain again intervened with the visitors 1-101 from 12 overs.
Their innings slashed to 15 overs at the resumption, Wyatt and fellow Englishwoman Tammy Beaumont (30no) added a further 33 runs from three overs to take their side to 1-134.
The Renegades will be back in action at 12.10pm local time (3.10pm AEST) on Saturday when they take on the Sydney Sixers in a replay of last year’s thrilling semi-final, before the Scorchers play the Stars at 3.55pm local (6.55pm AEDT).