Renegades gear up for Melbourne derby clash against Stars with an eye on a Top 4 spot!
Melbourne Renegades to win the match!
|Adelaide Strikers Women||13||10||3||0||0||20||0.695|
|Brisbane Heat Women||13||9||4||0||0||18||0.706|
|Perth Scorchers Women||12||8||4||0||0||16||0.02|
|Melbourne Renegades Women||13||7||6||0||0||14||0.017|
|Sydney Sixers Women||13||6||7||0||0||12||-0.13|
|Sydney Thunder Women||13||5||7||0||1||11||-0.406|
|Hobart Hurricanes Women||12||3||8||0||1||7||-0.238|
|Melbourne Stars Women||13||2||11||0||0||4||-0.716|
Only two match-days and seven fixtures are left to be played in the league phase and everyone would have recognized that the teams are battling out for a semi-final spot right now. One among those teams is Melbourne Renegades and they have the same number of points as 4th placed Sydney Sixers. With 12 points from 12 matches, it has been an inconsistent campaign for the Renegades and that characteristic has been on display in the last few matches too.
After suffering consecutive defeats against Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars, Renegades registered an impressive victory against Heat a few days ago. Renegades’ bowling was not at their best once again but the fifties from Danielle Wyatt and skipper Jess Duffin helped the team make it look very easy against the table-toppers. Renegades would want that them can similarly bounce back in the reverse fixture against Melbourne Stars.
On the other hand, Stars’ glimpse of ending the season on a good note came to a halt very quickly as they suffered the tenth loss of the campaign against Sydney Thunder. After chasing down 166 against Melbourne Renegades a couple of matches ago, Stars would have been fairly confident of beating Sydney Thunder but a target of 163 proved too much on the day.
It was Alex Blackwell’s superb fifty that led to Stars scoring 162 runs off 20 overs as Alana King and Nicola Hancock turned out to be expensive. In return, Stars remained in the hunt even after Lizelle Lee bagged a duck as skipper Elyse Villani and star batter Mignon du Preez stitched a 78-run partnership. However, Villani’s dismissal in the 13th over resulted in the Stars inning losing steam as they fell short of the target by 18 runs.
Enough has been spoken about how Melbourne Stars have been the worst side this season and the points table clearly reflects the same with them holding the wooden spoon at this moment. With three lesser points as compared to Hobart Hurricanes, it looks difficult for the Stars to climb up one spot to 7th spot but they would want to give their everything and end the season on a better note.
We have already seen how Melbourne Renegades have struggled with the ball in the recent fixtures and the same problem has plagued Stars throughout this season. In fact, Renegades have had at least two perfect wicket-takers in the form of Maitlan Brown and Molly Strano but the Stars haven’t had such performers too. Spinners Erin Osborne and Madeline Penna started the season on a bright note but wickets have dried up in recent games. While Osborne and Penna have 10 and 9 scalps respectively, Holly Ferling and Nicola Hancock jointly hold the 3rd spot in the wicket-taking charts for the Stars with 4 wickets each.
With the bat, Lizelle Lee and Mignon du Preez have led the way for their team. Skipper Elyse Villani who looked out of form in the first half of the tournament has also regained some touch with a 59-run knock being followed by 43 runs against Sydney Thunder in the last match.
Elyse Villani (C), Lizelle Lee, Mignon du Preez, Anna Sutherland, Erin Osborne, Nicole Faltum (WK), Tess Flintoff, Nicola Hancock, Madeline Penna, Alana King/ Kristen Beams, Holly Ferling.
|M du Preez||55||50||6||1||110|
Nicole Faltum, Erin Osborne, Annabel Sutherland, Lucy Cripps, Lizelle Lee, Nicola Hancock, Alana King, Elyse Villani, Tess Flintoff, Holly Ferling, Mignon du Preez
Going into this match, Melbourne Renegades would have two objectives. The main aim will be to improve their semi-final qualification scenario while avenging last week’s defeat against rivals Melbourne Stars will also be on the cards. The key for a Melbourne Renegades win would be much better bowling as they have found it tough to pick up regular wickets in the last three matches.
Especially in the last match against Brisbane Heat, all the bowlers with the exception of Danielle Wyatt and Molly Strano were expensive. Although Wyatt’s stunning 82-run knock helped Renegades to post a comfortable win, much more contribution will be expected from the likes of Georgia Wareham and Carly Leeson.
Wareham, in particular, has been a major disappointment with just 6 wickets in 12 matches. In terms of scoring runs, Danielle Wyatt and Jess Duffin have been incredibly consistent and this has ensured that Renegades have mostly managed to post respectable totals on the board. The duo has combined for 789 runs till now. Meg Lanning’s sister, Anna Lanning also gave a good account of herself with a superb 73 off 49 balls against her previous team Melbourne Stars.
Anna Lanning, Danielle Wyatt, Tammy Beaumont, Jess Duffin (C), Courtney Webb, Josie Dooley (WK), Georgia Wareham, Maitlan Brown, Carly Leeson, Lea Tahuhu, Molly Strano.
Anna Lanning, Molly Strano, Danielle Wyatt, Lea Tahuhu, Maitlan Brown, Tammy Beaumont, Carly Leeson, Courtney Webb, Jess Duffin, Georgia Wareham, Josie Dooley
Runs are always guaranteed at the Junction Oval in Melbourne and Saturday’s fixture shouldn’t be anything different. The team which bats first will need at least 150-155 to feel safe at this ground. The last fixture at this venue also proves the point with Brisbane Heat defending a total of 153 against Renegades. Unfortunately, the weather forecast for this game doesn’t look too good with 90 % chance for showers.
The Junction Oval has already hosted eight fixtures this season and that reflects how popular a venue this is for domestic cricket. Interestingly, Melbourne Renegades have won three of their four matches at the Junction Oval while Melbourne Stars have lost all their four matches so far.
Since the Junction Oval regularly produces good batting tracks, there should be no hesitation in choosing to bowl first. The fact that rain may play a big part in this match will also favour influence the captains to chase. Further, chasing teams have won six of the eight matches at the Junction Oval this season.
Regardless of their inconsistent performances, Melbourne Renegades seem to have more confidence on their side just due to the fact that they still have something to play for this season. Not just that, Renegades are also a better all-round unit when compared to the Stars and they look promising to avenge their defeat against the same opposition on Saturday.
Expect Jess Duffin, Maitlan Brown and Georgia Wareham to play a big part in this fixture.
Melbourne Renegades to win the match!