Hurting Renegades shuffle batting order to shrug off run of losses

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Melbourne Renegades’ only victory in the ongoing sixth season of the Women’s Big Bash League was versus Sydney Thunder on November 7. That was courtesy their bowling – Rosemary Mair and Sophie Molineux picked two wickets each – that helped them restrict Thunder two runs adrift their total of 110.

On Saturday (November 14), after yet another batting failure saw Renegades go down for the sixth time this season in nine matches, Amy Satterthwaite, the captain, said that it was tough to see them struggle on the back of some poor batting.

“We were definitely 30-40 runs short and I found it very frustrating that I couldn’t find the boundary and get the strike rate that I wanted,” said Satterthwaite, who scored an unbeaten 48 in 56 balls against Perth Scorchers.

“It’s pretty tough when you’re in that position and sort of feeling that you letting your team down. We need more runs on the board especially when we are coming against quality opposition batters.”

The testament to their top order failure is the fact that they have tried and shuffled the top four in the last couple of games, getting Carly Leeson to open in the last two games and pushing a misfiring Lizelle Lee down the order.

“We have struggled at the top in terms of our power play,” admitted the former Kiwi skipper, talking about the move to push Lee down to number 4, where she scored 38 off 31 balls in Renegades’ previous match against Hurricanes and a run-a-ball 12 versus Scorchers on Saturday.

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“We gave her (Lee) decent opportunities to go up and hope that she can hit a few gifts and get herself in and get going. When we get into a position like today where she gets in late and doesn’t face too many balls, you feel like you’re wasting lots of quality players. It’s a really difficult one to get right.”

“Probably if we had all our top guns firing and still losing, would have been better to take,” conceded Satterthwaite.

However, the captain was pleased with whatever she’s seen of Leeson over the past two seasons.

“She’s come on in leaps and bounds,” said the southpaw about the youngster.

“Probably the biggest thing for me is her character and the way she steps up to opportunities and we know the batting hasn’t come off as we might have hoped but she has taken it with both hands and has been really open to the opportunity with bat and ball and is loving it.”

“She is someone that’s extremely talented at anything she tries. She is going to be a fantastic cricketer and can only get better from here.”

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In what could be a major boost for the Renegades, who are at the bottom of the pile this season, is the return of pacer Lea Tahuhu from injury. She would be available for their next game against table-toppers Melbourne Stars on Sunday (Nov 15). This comes as a shot in the arm for a team, which has lost two of its main bowlers in Maitlan Brown and Georgia Wareham to injuries.

“It probably couldn’t have come at a better time,” said a visibly elated Satterthwaite.

“The girls are holding on really well in terms of morale side of things considering the results and how we are going but I think sticking together really well. I think she is someone who brings in fire and help us get up and about probably at a time when we’re feeling a little low.”

Tahuhu’s return sees her Kiwi counterpart Mair miss out. Will her presence make a difference for Renegades, who take on a yet-unbeaten Stars on Sunday? Only time will tell.