An all-around performance from Harmanpreet Kaur helped Melbourne Renegades trump Adelaide Strikers by six wickets and move to the top of the points table in the Women's Big Bash League on Sunday (October 31). Meanwhile, Alyssa Healy smashed an unbeaten 94 against Perth Scorchers, taking Sydney Sixers to a 44-run victory.
Opting to bat first, Dane van Niekerk and Katie Mack provided the Strikers with a good start. They added 43 runs for the first wicket before the latter got out for 19 runs from 21 balls. Van Niekerk and Laura Wolvaardt kept the innings going for the Strikers. The South African pair took the attack to the Renegades bowlers, scoring 73 runs from 54 balls together. They picked up a boundary or two almost every over, with van Niekerk making a 47-ball 62 before getting out to Carly Leeson.
Skipper Tahlia McGrath did not last long as she was dismissed by Ellie Falconer for seven runs from six balls. Meanwhile, Wolvaardt smashed a couple of boundaries off Leeson and followed it up with another six off Kaur. The Indian T20I skipper came back strongly, getting rid of Wolvaardt and Madeline Penna off consecutive deliveries. The Strikers finished with 160 for five in 20 overs. Kaur was the pick of the bowlers, taking two for 31 in her four overs.
Chasing eight runs per over, Renegades got off to a great start, with Jemimah Rodrigues launching a counterattack in the power play. She was the aggressor in the partnership with Evelyn Jones, taking on Darcie Brown and Megan Schutt.
Rodrigues slog-swept Schutt over square-leg and smashed two boundaries off Brown in the very next over. She hit 27 runs off just 16 balls, setting up the chase before getting out to Schutt in the fifth over.
Jones fell shortly after to Mcgrath for a 15-ball three as she could not keep the momentum going. Coming in at four, Kaur took her time to settle in before hitting Amanda-Jade Wellington for back-to-back sixes. With Josephine Dooley, she kept the momentum going for the Renegades.
Together, they added 70 runs from just 57 balls as Dooley got out for a 28-ball 29. Kaur, at the other end, brought up her first half-century of the season. Though Jess Duffin got out in the penultimate over, the Indian star kept her cool to take Renegades across the line along with Sophie Molineux. Renegades chased down the total with two balls to spare as Kaur finished with an unbeaten 70 from 43 balls.
In the other encounter at Lilac Hill, Sixers skipper Ellyse Perry continued to open at the top with Healy after opting to bat first against Scorchers. Perry held forte at one end while Healy did what she does - taking apart the bowling attack.
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From ball one, it seemed like Healy was in a zone that she hardly mishit anything. Though they scored only ten runs from the first three overs, the Sixers finished the power play with 42 runs without losing any wickets.
Healy hit the crucial boundaries while Perry was happy to play second fiddle. Halfway through the innings, Healy had raced to her fifty, batting at 51 runs from 32 balls. Meanwhile, Perry was going at 25 from 33. She got out to Taneale Peschel for 31 from 39 balls.
Through the rest of the innings, Scorchers came back strongly, making sure that Healy was stuck at the non-striker's end. Ashleigh Gardner and Shafali Verma could not make an impact. Healy smashed some late boundaries to take Sixers to 161 for three in 20 overs. She scored 94 runs from just 57 balls, contributing 58 per cent of the team total.
Coming on the back of their second super over win of the season, Scorchers lost Sophie Devine early. Though Beth Mooney and Chloe Piparo hung in there to build a partnership, they managed to add only 48 runs before the latter got out.
Chamari Atapattu, Mooney and Marizanne Kapp fell in quick successions, leaving Scorchers reeling at 75 for five. The rest of the batting order collapsed, trying to up the ante. Sixers
Adelaide Strikers 160/5 in 20 overs (Dane van Niekerk 62; Harmanpreet Kaur 2/31) lost to Melbourne Renegades 162/4 in 19.4 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 70*; Megan Schutt 2/18) by 6 wickets. POTM - Harmanpreet Kaur
Sydney Sixers 161/3 in 20 overs (Alyssa Healy 94; Taneale Peschel 2/34) beat Perth Scorchers 117/9 in 20 overs (Beth Mooney 30; Nicole Bolton 2/11) by 44 runs. POTM - Alyssa Healy.