Duffin inspired chase falls agonisingly short | Melbourne Renegades - BBL
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Duffin inspired chase falls agonisingly short

26 October 2019

The Melbourne Renegades have suffered their second loss of their WBBL|05 campaign, falling three runs short in a final-ball thriller against the Sydney Thunder on Saturday night.

Captain leads the way
Jess Duffin’s innings (69 off 56 balls) was mighty in every way imaginable.

How’s this for a scenario?

The skipper came to the crease in the fourth over at 3-21.

She was soon joined by Courtney Webb (32 off 29 balls) with the score at 4-25 in the seventh over.

At the halfway mark, the pair had stabilised the innings but still needed 84 from 60 balls.

With five overs to go, the equation was 52 from 30.

With two overs to go, the ‘Gades were still 20 runs short.

Finally, with one last ball to come, Duffin, then 69 not out from 55 balls, took strike needing a four or a six for victory.

She almost got there.

Her final shot off Rene Farrell was hoiked miles into the air and looked a likely boundary for much of its journey. Unfortunately for the Renegades, it fell only metres in from the rope into Hannah Darlington’s waiting hands.

It was a heartbreaking end to a stand that will live long in the memories of all who saw it.

Duffin’s performance was superb. First, she stopped the run of wickets, gradually playing her way into her groove and picking up ones and twos with the younger Webb. She then began to open her arms in the 14th over, posting her second six of the innings, and from there the run chase began to pick up speed.

The half century was only her second in 38 WBBL matches across four seasons, and her highest score since WBBL|03.

Webb, too, must also be commended for her innings. Her 32 from 29 balls was her highest WBBL score from nine innings, and her the 19-year-old’s ability to stay composed under pressure bodes well for her future.

The bowlers strike back
Earlier in the night, the Thunder looked like they were setting themselves for huge total, racing to 1-44 after five overs and 2-62 after eight.

Fortunately, a combination of spin and Maitlan Brown’s final-over yorkers came to the rescue.

Sophie Molineux went for 14 in her first over, but ended it with a wicket and picked up another two later on to finish with 3-28 from her four. Molly Strano was economical (1-24 from four) and part-timer Danni Wyatt winkled out Thunder captain Rachael Haynes for 36.

Got a curious fact for us?
As mentioned, Maitlan Brown sure does love bowling at the death.

She took 3-6 in the final over of the match, following her two wickets in the final over of the first innings during the win over the Adelaide Strikers in game No. 2.

The tough assignments don’t faze her one bit.

What comes next?
The Renegades will fly to Perth for a doubleheader at the WACA. First up, it’s a clash with the Scorchers on Friday 1 November at 8.40pm (AEDT) before taking on the Sydney Sixers at 3.10pm (AEDT) the following day.