The Snapshot: After being sent into the field by the Sixers, the innings was nearly a replica of the regular season meeting the week before, with top order batters Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner being dismissed early. However after slumping to 3-19 in the fifth over, half centuries from Ellyse Perry and Dane van Niekerk re-ignited their innings, and the Sixers finished with a respectable yet achievable total of 4-131 after 20 overs.
In reply, the Renegades' innings with the bat was a near mirror to that of the Sixers. They were also in trouble early - at 3-19 in the fifth over - however an exciting innings of 41 runs off 34 balls from Jess Duffin steadied the ship. Despite a slow start with the bat, Sophie Molineux also built to a half century, batting through every single over of the innings, only to be run out on 55 on the last ball of the final over.
A crucial partnership between Molineux and Claire Koski (19*) almost saw the Renegades sneak a victory in regular time from out under the Sixes noses. Needing three off the last ball for victory, Molineux's last shot seemed destined for a boundary, but a slow outfield and some excellent fielding meant her and Koski had to run for three.
It went to the video referee but Molineux was declared run out on the final run. With both teams finishing with a total of 131 runs after 20 overs it only meant one thing - Super Over.
Unfortunately the Renegades couldn't find the rope in a tidy over bowled by Marizanne Kapp, and finished on 1-6 after their six Super Over deliveries, setting the Sixers seven runs to win.
The Molly Strano-bowled Super Over began tidy, until Perry did what she does best, slogging the ball for six and notching up victory and a Grand Final berth for the home team with two balls remaining.
The Key Moment: No matter which team you supported, the final over of the regular time second innings had everything – both highs and lows, both certainty and doubt. Both sides could have clinched victory in regular time but as was reflective of the nature of the match, the teams couldn’t be split and it would come down to a Super Over.
The video referee’s review of the final ball of the oval however was crucial to this decision – did the fielder touch the rope when saving Molineux’s would-be four? Did Healy take the bails off the stumps before or after Molineux skidded over the line for the third run? Both tough calls but both made correctly – the second spot in the WBBL|04 Grand Final would be decided by a Super Over.
The Key Player: Jess Duffin’s innings with the bat was nothing short of a game-saver for the Renegades. Coming in when the Renegades were in trouble at 3-19 in the fifth, Duffin produced a dynamic innings of 41 runs off 34 balls. Earlier in the season the Renegades batting order might have crumbled had it got to this point, but Duffin’s innings – which included six fours and one six – inspired the rest of the line up that victory was still possible and to dig in at the crease.
Up Next: Unfortunately today’s loss signifies the end of the Renegades’ WBBL|04 campaign, however it was nothing short of a history-making one. Not only were the Renegades the first Melbourne-based club to make the WBBL finals, but today’s performance proved that they were not just in the finals to make up the numbers.
In the words of Head Coach Tim Coyle, “The way we went about it today was exceptional…that was an exceptional game of cricket against the best team in the competition. Yes it hurts, but don’t let it hurt for too long…we’re going to get better for it.
“Hold your heads up high…we’ve placed a stamp on this cricket club today.”
We can’t wait to see what is to come from this exciting bunch of players and their dedicated coaching team in WBBL|05.