Melbourne Renegades look to push away Sydney Thunder and seal a semi-final spot!
Melbourne Renegades to win the match!
|Adelaide Strikers Women||14||10||4||0||0||20||-0.076|
|Brisbane Heat Women||13||9||4||0||0||18||0.706|
|Melbourne Renegades Women||14||8||6||0||0||16||0.117|
|Perth Scorchers Women||13||8||5||0||0||16||-0.108|
|Sydney Sixers Women||14||7||7||0||0||14||0.601|
|Sydney Thunder Women||14||5||8||0||1||11||-0.487|
|Hobart Hurricanes Women||13||4||8||0||1||9||-0.073|
|Melbourne Stars Women||13||2||11||0||0||4||-0.716|
It is all down to the final day of the WBBL's league phase. While Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers have already qualified for the semis, two teams are still battling out for the final spot.
One of those two teams is Melbourne Renegades. Renegades did comeback well after losing to Melbourne Stars with two wins in a row, but they are still not yet confirmed for a Top-4 spot with Sydney Sixers on 12 points. Renegades are in good form and Sydney Sixers really struggling in the absence of Ellyse Perry.
In the last match against Melbourne Stars, the Renegades bowlers had an off-day yet again by conceding 162 runs off the allotted 20 overs. In the second innings, three early wickets including the important scalp of Danielle Wyatt meant that Renegades were struggling at 54-3 but unsurprisingly skipper Jess Duffin came up with the recovery act yet again this season. Her 81-run partnership with Courtney Webb helped Renegades reach home with just one ball to spare.
Meanwhile, Sydney Thunder would be ruing how their season unraveled after a promising beginning. Although Thunder won their last match against Melbourne Stars, other results didn’t go their way and that has meant that the upcoming fixture against Renegades will be their last match of the season. Against Stars, Alex Blackwell's long-awaited return to form ended as her fifty helped Thunder post an impressive 162 on the board. Thereafter, the bowling attack came up with a disciplined effort to restrict Stars to just 144. The experienced Rene Farrell along with Samantha Bates were the pick of the bowlers.
It would only be apt to start discussing Melbourne Renegades with the name of skipper Jess Duffin. The inspirational leader has saved Renegades from collapsing a lot of times this season. Be it when her side was 11-2 against Melbourne Stars or 12-3 against Hobart Hurricanes, Jess Duffin has always come up with the goods when her team needed it the most.
Apart from her, all-rounder Danielle Wyatt has shared the run-scoring responsibility for Renegades this season with her compatriot Tammy Beaumont not in great touch. So far, Wyatt has scored 424 runs and picked up 4 wickets.
On the bowling front, Molly Strano and Maitlan Brown have been the leading wicket-takers with 17 and 16 wickets respectively, while Lea Tahuhu has also supported them by maintaining a good economy rate.
Anna Lanning, Danielle Wyatt, Tammy Beaumont, Jess Duffin (C), Courtney Webb, Georgia Wareham, Josie Dooley (WK), Maitlan Brown, Carly Lesson, Lea Tahuhu, Molly Strano
Anna Lanning, Maitlan Brown, Danielle Wyatt, Lea Tahuhu, Molly Strano, Josie Dooley, Chamari Atapattu, Courtney Webb, Jess Duffin, Georgia Wareham, Carly Leeson
For the Sydney Thunder, their failure to qualify for the semis can be quickly attributed to the lack of runs. Alex Blackwell, the team's main batter had found herself through a mini bad patch of form with it only coming to an end in the last match against Melbourne Stars with a fifty. Wicket-keeper batswoman Rachel Priest has also been hit-and-miss with only a solitary half-century to her name until now.
On the whole itself, the Thunder's batting line-up only combined to score 4 fifties in the season and such form would never see a team being successful. The most disappointing batters have been skipper Rachael Haynes and Naomi Stalenberg with them averaging 15.20 and 19.11 respectively.
At the same time, no one can fault their bowling as it has been a complete group effort led by the likes of Hannah Darlington and Nida Dar with 14 and 13 scalps respectively. The other three main bowlers in the form of Rene Farrell, Samantha Bates, and Shabnim Ismail also have 10 or more wickets and that is a record not many teams can boast about.
Rachel Priest (WK), Naomi Stalenberg, Alex Blackwell, Rachel Haynes (C), Phoebe Litchfield, Saskia Horley, Hannah Darlington, Lisa Griffith, Rene Farrell, Shabnim Ismail, Samantha Bates
Naomi Stalenberg, Saskia Horley, Phoebe Litchfield, Shabnim Ismail, Hannah Darlington, Lisa Griffith, Rene Farrell, Rachel Priest, Alex Blackwell, Sam Bates, Rachael Haynes
It might be the back-end of the WBBL season but the Junction Oval tracks haven’t shown any signs of tiredness until now. A lot of runs will be on offer on Sunday too with only spinners having a chance of restricting the batters. The weather forecast doesn’t look great with a 90% chance for rain but a point should still see Melbourne Renegades in the Semi-finals.
This match between Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder will be the 10th match at the Junction Oval this season and that reflects how good a venue this is for women's cricket. Further, Melbourne Renegades have won four of their five matches here and that would give a lot of confidence to them while going into this match.
The tracks at the Junction Oval remain the same for the entire match and that should ensure that the toss-winning captain chooses to bowl first. With rain also being predicted, chasing should be the obvious option.
At such a high-scoring venue like the Junction Oval, it is important to have 2-3 batters in good form and it is the Melbourne Renegades who have that in the form of Jess Duffin and Danielle Wyatt. Hence, we expect Melbourne Renegades to post a big total or defend whatever is set by the Sydney Thunder. With the semi-final spot on the line, Renegades will also have extra motivation on their side. If at all Renegades lose, they should ensure that the margin of their defeat is not too big as a huge Sydney Sixers win could put them under trouble in terms of the Net Run Rate.
Melbourne Renegades to win the match!