In the first match of the day at the Great Barrier Reef Arena in Mackay, Molineux got everything right from the toss as they went past Adelaide Strikers in a thrilling win. Opting to bowl first, Renegades’ captain accounted for four wickets including the big scalps of Laura Wolvaardt and Tahlia McGrath after Shabnim Ismail removed a dangerous looking Deandra Dottin early in the piece.
In the chase, it was Molineux again led the batting effort as she added 47-run for the opening wicket with Hayley Matthews. Even when the pair fell in quick succession, Josie Dolley stood firm and took Renegades closer and despite a wobble at the end Courtney Webb and Sarah Coyte took them home.
Sixers continued from where they left in the first two matches and despite losing Suzie Bates early, the Australian trio of Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner took them to a competitive total of 147 for 6 from the stipulated 20 overs. Healy - who has had a run of poor scores in the format - top-scored with a 32-ball 43, while Gardner’s 24 and Erin Burns 22 were crucial in getting them to their eventual total.
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In reply, Stars stuttered in yet another chase, having gone down against Brisbane Heat in their opening match. Stars looked on course for the target when they had Lauren Winfield-Hill and Bess Heat’s 50-run opening stand.
However, once the partnership was broken by fellow English player Sophie Ecclestone, Stars struggled to maintain the required run rate. Although skipper Nicole Faltum and Kim Garth tried their best, the Melbourne side in green eventually finished 27-run short.
Elsewhere in Sydney at the Blacktown International Sportspark 1, Sydney Thunder’s struggled continued as they succumbed to their second defeat in as many matches and are currently at the bottom of the table.
It was similar tale for Thunder from the match against Hobart Hurricanes as their batting lineup couldn’t put together a competitive performance and could score only 88 for 8, having been reduced to 17 for 4 by the sixth over. With Marizanne Kapp accounting for Tammy Beaumont early and Rachael Haynes getting run out, the two-time champions never recovered.
For Scorchers, their bowling lineup put on a dominant display with Kapp, Alana King and Lilly Mills picking up two wickets apiece. Devine also chipped in with the wicket of big-hitting Sammy-Jo Johnson.
It was never going to be enough for Thunder and Scorchers’ openers Devine and Mooney started solidly with the former donning the role of the aggressor. Although the duo wasn’t their usual attacking self, it was enough on the face of smaller target as they added 55 runs for the opening wicket.
One Mooney fell, Devine batted through with her New Zealand teammate Maddy Green keeping her company. The defending champions romped home with more than five overs to spare and Chloe Tryon, who came in as the sixth bowler, could make any dent with the wicket of Mooney.
At the end of the first weekend, Strikers, Stars, and Thunder are winless as they all registered their second defeat from as many matches. On Monday, Scorchers will take on Hurricanes at the Blacktown International Sportspark 1.
Adelaide Strikers 126/7 in 20 overs (Madeline Penna 36, Tahlia McGrath 35; Sophie Molineux 4/23) lost to Melbourne Renegades 128/6 in 19.5 overs (Sophie Molineux 32, Josie Dooley 29; Megan Schutt 2/23) by 4 wickets POTM: Sophie Molineux
Sydney Sixers 147/6 in 20 overs (Alyssa Healy 43, Elyse Perry 28; Kim Garth 2/21) beat Melbourne Stars 120/9 in 20 overs (Bess Heath 37; Maitlan Brown 3/25, Ashleigh Gardner 2/19) by 27 runs POTM: Ashleigh Gardner
Sydney Thunder 88/8 in 20 overs (Tahlia Wilson 28; Lilly Mills 2/12, Marizanne Kapp 2/15) lost to Perth Scorchers 89/1 in 14.5 overs (Sophie Devine 44*) by 9 wickets POTM: Sophie Devine