Heat to host finals after soggy Melbourne win
Brisbane Heat have pipped Adelaide Strikers to top the Rebel WBBL ladder, earning the right to host next weekend's finals.
After rain delayed the start of their clash against the Melbourne Stars at Junction Oval, cutting the game to 10 overs a side, star opener Beth Mooney struck a half-century to lead her team to an eight-wicket win.
Needing 87 runs from 60 deliveries to claim the right to host both semi-finals on Saturday as well as Sunday's final, Mooney smacked 50no from 27 deliveries to see her team home with eight balls to spare.
They finished on top of the ladder on net run rate, ahead of the Strikers who suffered a 13-run loss to the Sydney Sixers in Hurstville earlier on Sunday.
Earlier, Elyse Villani (25) top-scored for the Stars but they were contained by a Heat attack led by spinner Amelia Kerr, who picked up two wickets and leaked just four runs from her two-over spell.
Renegades sink Sixers' hopes to claim semi spot
Another brilliant half-century from captain Jess Duffin and an inspired performance with the ball has cemented Melbourne Renegades’ place in the Rebel WBBL semi-finals.
Their 29-run victory over the Sydney Thunder at Junction Oval on Sunday morning means two-time champions Sydney Sixers will miss WBBL finals for the first time in five seasons, regardless of the outcome of their final game against the Adelaide Strikers this afternoon.
Sent in to bat by the Thunder under threatening Melbourne skies, the equation was simple for the Renegades: win, and a spot in the four was theirs, lose and rely on the outcome of the Sixers’ match against the Strikers to learn their fate.
After Duffin’s 53 and Danielle Wyatt’s 44 propelled the Renegades to 6-151, the Renegades successfully defended a total for the first time this season – led by Molly Strano’s 3-26 – to restrict the Thunder to 7-122.
Thunder spinner Sam Bates had the home side on the back foot early when she bowled Anna Lanning (0) and had Sri Lanka import Chamari Athapaththu (0) caught behind with successive deliveries.
But Duffin and Wyatt steadied proceedings with a 72-run third wicket stand, as the Renegades captain hit her sixth fifty of the tournament.
Wyatt’s typically explosive innings came to an end when she holed out in the 11th over, gone for 44 from 31, before Duffin was stumped off the bowling of teenager pacer Hannah Darlington for a 44-ball 53.
Courtney Webb’s 24 and speedy 11-ball 17no from leg-spinner Georgia Wareham – who cleared the boundary twice for the first maximums of her Big Bash career – helped the Renegades to 6-151 despite the efforts of Bates (3-21) and the brilliantly economical Shabnim Ismail (0-11 from four).
Rachel Priest (19) had the Thunder on track early in response when she struck three boundaries, before Strano entered the fray.
She had Priest caught by a running Anna Lanning on the rope, striking twice more to remove fellow opener Naomi Stalenberg (28) and captain Rachael Haynes (14).
Playing the final innings of an 18-year domestic career, former Thunder captain Alex Blackwell (1) was desperately unlucky to be run out for one when her bat bounced on the line.
Sixers claim consolation win to deny Strikers top spot
Alyssa Healy's dazzling final-round innings came too late to prevent a proud record tumbling as both the Sixers and Thunder missed the WBBL finals.
It's the first time in women's domestic cricket league history that a NSW team won't feature in the finals of a competition, dating back 22 years to the start of the Women's National Cricket League in 1996-97, the women's Twenty20 Cup (from 2009-10) and WBBL (from 2015-16).
The goose was already cooked for the Sixers (fifth, 7-7) when the Melbourne Renegades beat the Thunder (sixth, 5-8) to clinch a semi-final berth earlier on Sunday.
Their inability to win without injured skipper Ellyse Perry in the last fortnight had cost them dearly as they missed the WBBL finals for the first time.
But Healy signed off in style, smashing her way back to form with a savage 84 off 38 balls to set up a 13-run win over Adelaide which ended up costing the Strikers hosting rights for the finals series as they finished second to Brisbane Heat.
Stand-in skipper Healy's knock was pivotal as the Sixers reversed Saturday's loss to the Strikers and finally ended their five-game skid.
Healy, coming off back-to-back ducks and with just 16 runs in her past five knocks, took out her frustration on the Strikers bowlers, belting seven sixes in her whirlwind dig.
Teenager Stella Campbell (2-16) then came to the party with the ball, snaring Bates (duck) and Tahlia McGrath (six) early to put the Strikers on the back foot.
Sophie Devine refused to concede defeat, belting four sixes in her 60 off 38 balls - taking her season tally to a league-best 699 runs at 77.67, including eight 50s.
But when the star Kiwi holed out in the 15th over, which was followed by three run outs as the required rate escalated, the task proved beyond the Strikers.
Lanning's maiden WBBL ton sees Scorchers find form
Australia captain Meg Lanning has smashed her maiden Big Bash ton to catapult Perth Scorchers to a convincing 35-run victory over Hobart Hurricanes at Lilac Hill and third position on the ladder.
Lanning cracked 101 off 67 balls to guide the Scorchers to 4-167, which proved beyond the Hurricanes who replied with 6-132 on Sunday.
Lanning, whose previous best was 97 not out, thumped 12 fours and three sixes in her sublime knock, dominating her 154-run opening stand with the more measured Nicole Bolton (44).
Hobart's reply started disastrously when Saturday's player-of-the-match Erin Fazackerley was stumped off the second ball of the innings for a duck.
Heather Knight (36) and Nicola Carey (26) batted solidly and Corinne Hall (28no) and Maisy Gibson (22no) hit out towards the end but the 'Canes were never in the hunt.