A true captain’s knock
Prior to Saturday’s game, Jess Duffin had long established herself as one of the best batters in the WBBL.
She entered the match with 190 runs from five innings at an average of 47.5 – a very bright start to a season in anyone’s language.
But it was her match-winning 75 off 49 deliveries against the Hurricanes that will ensure she remains one of the competition’s talking points for the weeks to come.
Duffin came to the crease at 3-12 – yes, you read that correctly – with her team in all sorts of bother chasing 151.
Further to that, the team’s two international signings, Danni Wyatt (five runs off six balls) and Tammy Beaumont (four runs off nine balls), were among the three wickets tucked away in the sheds.
Victory from here was going to require something special. Fortunately, Duffin is that sort of player.
First, she set about stabilising the innings, adding 43 with Josie Dooley before the latter was dismissed LBW for eight.
Then, joined by Courtney Webb, Duffin started to chance her arm, racing to 50 from just 35 balls, and going further again, thumping four huge sixes to eventually finish on 75 from 49 balls.
Her biggest six sailed over the rope, over the picket fence and out of the CitiPower Centre venue itself, landing in the parkland outside the oval.
She later joked it still wasn’t her biggest six, citing the time she “smashed Prahran’s window” while playing back in the suburbs.
By the time she was dismissed, the Renegades needed only 20 off the final 20 balls of the match.
Courtney Webb stayed in until the last over, out for a career-high 33 with three balls and three runs left to come.
Fortunately, Maitlan Brown wasn’t fazed, helping pass the Hurricanes’ total with a tickle through the left side off the final ball of the day.
Making an early impression
Great fielding and diligent bowling helped get the Renegades off to the ideal start in their return to the CitiPower Centre.
Despite wet conditions, the ball found a way to stick in the fielders’ hands as spinners Sophie Molineux and Georgia Wareham held onto difficult chances to help peg the Hurricanes back to 4-40 in the eighth over.
Molineux bowled tightly early on, trapping Heather Knight LBW for 10 a short time after she’d held a great take off Molly Strano to end Erin Fazackerley’s day on eight.
She teamed up with Wareham to pick up her second, when Meg Phillips was well held in the deep for 15. At that stage, the Hurricanes were in a dicey position approaching the half way mark, with the home side well on top.
Hobart digs in
That catch from Wareham marked the Renegades’ last wicket until the final ball of the 18th over.
In the 10 overs in between, Fran Wilson (45 from 36 balls) and Corinne Hall (50 off 34 balls) combined to not only rescue the Hurricanes’ innings but propel it into a potentially match-winning position.
They added 92 runs in 63 balls, at first stabilising before kicking things up a gear as the overs went by.
Wilson was eventually dismissed by Strano, but by then the hard work had been done at 5-132 with two overs to spare.
Got a curious fact for us?
Saturday marked Carly Leeson’s 21st birthday. The former Sydney Sixer bowled two overs (0-14) in just her second game for her new club, helping keep the Hurricanes batters in check midway through the innings.
Better still, she was able to celebrate the victory and her special milestone with her parents after the match.
Renegades fans will also note the match was their sixth in a row to end in the final over. They have lost their past three right at the very finish, meaning players, coaches and fans will sleep well this evening.
What comes next?
There’s no time to lose for the Renegades nor the Hurricanes who will meet again at the CitiPower Centre at 1pm on Sunday. A win will square the home side’s ledger at 4-4 with six matches remaining before the finals.