Danielle Wyatt of Melbourne Renegades in action. © Getty Images

Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder registered victories against Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars respectively on Wednesday (November 27) in the ongoing fifth season of the Women’s Big Bash League. Renegades’ timely win has ensured they are still in the hunt to finish in the top four.

In the first match at Allan Border Field in Brisbane, Renegades triumphed over Heat by six wickets. The victory was set up by half-centuries from Danni Wyatt and Jess Duffin. Chasing a steep target of 184, Wyatt blazed her way to 87 – the highest score by a Renegades player – and after her dismissal, Duffin with a scintillating 27-ball fifty made light work of the chase. Earlier with the ball in hand as well, Wyatt picked up two wickets to limit the carnage from Heat batters.

Sent into bat Heat started off well, as the in-form Mooney and Mady Green put on 48 runs for the opening wicket. Renegades struck by dismissing Green for 20. That was the only success Renegades could get for a long time. Mooney settled along nicely and reached yet another half-century to put Heat in a commanding position. The Queenslander reached her landmark in just 37 balls. At the other end, Jess Jonassen, too, looked good to get to her own half-century.

The duo’s 110-run stand threatened to put the match beyond Renegades before Wyatt struck twice at the fag end of the innings. Mooney finished with 86 while Jonassen had 51 to show.

Chasing a mammoth 184, Renegades lost Anna Lanning early on to an error of misjudgment. Wyatt, after starting slowly, then took on the bowlers as Renegades brought their fifty inside the power play. She added 80 along with Tammy Beaumont, bringing down the required run rate below eight an over. Wyatt then brought up her fourth WBBL fifty off 34 balls after Beaumont fell.

However, when on 87 – looking set to bring up her ton – she skied one to long off, leaving Renegades needing 33 off 28 balls. Captain Jess Duffin, though, ensured there were no further hiccups in the run chase by remaining unbeaten on 50. Renegades eventually won the match with an over to spare.

In another match at Manuka Oval in Canberra, Thunder downed Stars by 18 runs. Alex Blackwell starred with a composed fifty. The veteran’s effort coupled with some disciplined bowling by Thunder made the victory possible.

Electing to bowl, Stars had a good start will the ball in hand as they got rid of Thunder’s top-order to reduce them to 87 for three in just 12 overs. The resurrection of the Thunder innings came from Alex Blackwell, who remained calm and composed to reach her sixth WBBL half-century off just 41 balls. Her efforts meant Thunder posted a competitive total of 162 for the loss of six wickets at the end of their 20 overs.

Chasing 163, Stars lost Lizelle Lee for a two-ball duck. Elyse Villani and Mignon du Preez then put on a stand worth 86 runs. Initially slow to begin with, the duo started to attack and were looking set to get their team over the line. Thunder though came back into the match with two quick strikes – that of Villani (43) and Annabel Sutherland (4).

Du Preez though held one end up and raised her third fifty this edition, bringing down the equation to Stars needing 50 off 24 balls. Soon du Preez departed and with that, Stars’ hope of a win. Some disciplined bowling at the death meant Stars fell short by 19 runs.

Brief Scores:

Brisbane Heat 183/4 in 20 overs (Beth Mooney 86, Jess Jonassen 51; Danni Wyatt 2-26, Maitlan Brown 1-38) lost to Melbourne Renegades 185/4 in 19 overs (Danni Wyatt 87, Jess Duffin 50*; Georgia Prestwidge 1-20) by six wickets. POTM: Danni Wyatt.

Sydney Thunder 162/6 in 20 overs (Alex Blackwell 65, Naomi Stalenberg 30; Annabel Sutherland 2-31) beat Melbourne Stars 144/5 in 20 overs (Mignon du Preez 55, Elyse Villani 43; Rene Farrell 2-28) by 18 runs. POTM: Alex Blackwell.