A low scoring game at Manuka Oval, Canberra was won by the Sydney Thunder who consolidate their position in the standings. They bowled out the Melbourne Renegades for just 68. The Renegades, however, showed some fight with the ball to give the Thunder a scare as they won by four wickets chasing a modest target.
Rain during the morning had meant that the toss had been delayed. With the covers being made the pitch more difficult to bat. The Renegades were put in and were soon in trouble.
Rene Farrell the experienced bowler got the breakthrough in the first over as Emma Inglis dragged her fourth ball to Nicola Carey at Short mid-on.
With just the one run coming from the first over, Sophie Molineux chased the first delivery from Belinda Vakarewa. It gave the Renegades the difficult job of rebuilding and they had two of their best batters in the middle. Amy Satterthwaite and Jess Duffin had added 16 from 18 balls when the next ball Duffin misjudged a Farrell Yorker and was bowled.
Clair Koski was unlucky to be given out lbw in the sixth over as Maitlan Brown’s second ball looked to be missing leg stump. It left the Renegades 22 for 4 at the end of the powerplay.
Carey then ensured that there was no way back for the Renegades as she removed both Satterthwaite and Chamari Atapattu.
With the quality of the Thunder batting, it seemed like it would be a comfortable chase. Batting conditions didn’t improve and when Lea Thahuhu removed both Rachel Priest and Alex Blackwell within the first three overs to leave the Thunder 6 for 2.
Rachael Haynes who captained Australia during the recent Women’s Ashes was the calming the Thunder needed. Naomi Stalenberg struggled at the other end playing out 12 dot balls in an innings of 6 from 18 balls before the pressure got to her and she hit it straight to deep midwicket.
Fran Wilson who would have experienced these conditions more than most in the WBBL was soon out for just one. It was her first bat in her third game and it was suddenly 44 for 4.
With Stafanie Taylor at one end and Haynes still there the Thunder were still favourites. Haynes looked unhappy that she could not finish the job with just five runs left to win. Jensen got one to swing back in against Haynes and was given out lbw when replays showed it probably did too much.
Carey was bowled by Molly Strano in the next over and the Renegades will have thought had they scored just 20 runs more they could have won this game, but two balls later Farrell hit the winning runs with a four.
It means that if the Renegades hopes of qualifying for the finals are effectively over. The Thunder are looking good at the top of the ladder and with this win, they are showing that they are ready for some tough games to come.
Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Renegades
Melbourne Renegades 68 all out (Satterthwaite 17, Carey 3 for 10)
Sydney Thunder 69 for 6 (Haynes 37, Jensen 3 for 11)