Kaur, Lanning make merry on batters day out in Karen Rolton Oval

(L to R) Jemimah Rodrigues, Evelyn Jones, Harmanpreet Kaur, Meg Lanning © Getty Images

Meg Lanning, Harmanpreet Kaur, Evelyn Jones, and Jemimah Rodrigues shone with the bat as both Melbourne sides won their respective clashes of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) on Saturday (November 06) at the Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide.

Batting first, Rodrigues showed her intentions from the first over by hitting South African international Nadine de Klerk for back-to-back boundaries. The opening pair of Rodrigues and Jones took full advantage of the lightning-quick outfield at the Karen Rolton Oval as they produced Renegades’ most productive power play of the season. They amassed 59 runs from the first six overs including ten boundaries.

Rodrigues got to her second WBBL half-century off just 28 balls, but she was trapped in front by Jess Jonassen two balls later to end the partnership of 101 runs. In-form Kaur joined Jones after two quick wickets and began cautiously against Heat’s spin duo of Jonassen and Grace Harris. Jones played an anchor role for the Renegades, but eventually accelerated as she found momentum. The southpaw brought up her fifty in the 13th over.

Once she found her timing, Heat bowlers had no answers for the swash-buckling Kaur. She hit Harris for two back-to-back sixes with her trademark slog sweeps. Courtney Sippel provided a little relief with the wicket of Jones, but no one was able to contain Kaur as she became the first Indian player to go past 1000 runs in the WBBL. By the end of the 20 overs, Renegades’ overseas players had propelled them to 207 for four, the second-highest score in the history of competition.

Heat needed the quick-fire start to chase down the mammoth total, but instead they lost Georgia Redmayne in the second over. Harris and Georgia Voll went on the counter-attack inside the power play by hitting Holly Ferling for 23 runs in two overs. The pair looked settled before Harris top-edged the first ball of Rhiann O’Donnell and wicket-keeper Josie Dooley took a simple catch.

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The 18-year-old Voll batted at three and scored 40 runs off 28 balls including five fours and a six. It looked like Heat’s hopes of chasing the total were gone when she was caught by Duffin, giving O’Donnell her second wicket but, Laura Kimmice kept them in the chase with 21-ball 42. She was run-out at the non-striker’s end with the mounting required run rate.

All the lower order Heat natters contributed, but none of them could form a substantial partnership to put pressure on Renegades bowlers and they were eventually bowled out for 192.

For Renegades, Falconer was the pick of the bowler as she took four wickets in her four overs. O’Donnell supported her with two wickets.

In the second match of the day, the bat flip between Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Stars was delayed due to rain, and the match was reduced to 14 overs per side. Strikers captain Tahlia McGrath invited Stars to bat first and they started cautiously against the opening bowlers Megan Schutt and Darcie Brown. Lanning, who has been struggling for the form, found her groove with a classy cut shot.

Lanning’s opening partner, Elyse Villani, started slowly scoring run-a-ball 23 before she was caught by Amanda-Jade Wellington off her own bowling. That minor hiccup didn’t stop Lanning as she hit two sixes against Wellington in the same over to reach her 26th WBBL half-century – first of the seventh season – in style. She was finally dismissed by Schutt in the last over as Tegan McPharlin took a simple catch behind the stumps.

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Strikers’ opening duo of Dane van Niekerk and Laura Wolvaardt survived some close chances early in the chase, but couldn’t make the most of it. Star’s English import Linsey Smith struck in her first over as Lanning took a fantastic catch at extra-cover. Lanning took another catch to end the struggling innings of McGrath giving Tess Flintoff her first wicket of the match.

Van Niekerk did score 14 off 18 balls but she struggled throughout her batting innings. Once she was sent back to the pavilion, Strikers’ middle order collapsed, losing four wickets in quick succession. Stars’ made up for their early wobble in the field with some good catching and fielding in the latter half of the innings. The home side could only score 89 for eight by the end of the 14 overs allowing Stars to register a win of 37 runs.

Brief Scores: 

Melbourne Renegades 207/4 in 20 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 65, Eve Jones 61; Grace Harris 1/29) beat Brisbane Heat 192 all out in 20 overs (Laura Kimmince 42, Georgia Voll 40; Ellie Falconer 4/29) by 15 runs

Melbourne Stars 126/4 in 14 overs (Meg Lanning 82, Elyse Villani 23; Dane van Niekerk 2/15) beat Adelaide Strikers 89/8 in 14 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 14, Dane van Niekerk 14; Rhys McKeena 2/3) by 37 runs