Ellyse Perry in action. ©Getty Images

At the GMHBA Stadium, the Melbourne Renegades hosted the Sydney Sixers. Both teams, having cemented their place in the finals, were now playing to maintain momentum. It was the Sixers who emerged on top, despite a slow start, to win by 29 runs.

The Sixers won the toss, and elected to bat first, but some exceptional bowling from their opposition meant they started on the back foot. Lea Tahuhu, bowling the first over, conceded no runs off it, with Molly Strano going for just one off the next one. So disciplined was the Renegades bowling, that it took Ellyse Perry 15 balls to get off the mark! At the end of the Power Play, the Sixers were struggling at 18-1, with Alyssa Healy back in the shed. Ashleigh Gardner soon joined Healy, as the Sixers were reduced to 24-2.

Gardner’s wicket brought Erin Burns to the crease. She and Perry then combined for an unbeaten 112-run partnership. Burns got the scoreboard ticking over nicely, playing some unconventional shots. Perry, after taking her time settling in, joined her partner, and top-scored with 67 off 62. In the process, she also became the first player to reach 2,000 career runs in WBBL or BBL history. Burns finished on 53 off 37, as the two led the Sixers to 136-2, taking 16 runs off the last over.

For the Renegades, Sophie Molineux and Georgia Wareham took a wicket each, but Tahuhu was the stand out bowler. Though she remained wicketless, she went for just seven runs off her four overs, six of those coming off her last one.

In the second innings, the Renegades got off to a balanced start, taking 20 off the first four overs. However, two wickets fell in the following two overs, with both openers, Molineux and Danni Wyatt, being dismissed. At the end of the Power Play, the Renegades were 26-2. The Sixers took a page of the Renegades’ book with their bowling, building pressure. Skipper Amy Satterthwaite was caught leg-before on seven, and had to depart, so that at the halfway stage, the Renegades were on 41-3.

Regular wickets falling kept the Renegades tied, but Jess Duffin remained steadfast at the crease. With her there, the Renegades still had belief. The equation came down to 12 required an over off the last six, Duffin looked to accelerate. However, it did not quite come off for her, or her team, as the Renegades fell 29 runs short. Duffin departed on the last ball of the penultimate over, for a run-a-ball 39. They finished their innings on 107-8.

Marizanne Kapp and Lauren Cheatle took two wickets each. They were supported by Perry, Dane van Niekerk, Gardner, and Sarah Aley, who all claimed a scalp apiece.

Sixers finish at the top of the table, with the Renegades remaining at number four. Burns was named Player-of-the-Match for her 53* as it was her effort that helped resurrect the Sixers innings. Only one group match now remains, with the Sixers taking on the Melbourne Stars tomorrow.