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Rain calls early end to season opener

25 October 2020

Sunday’s WBBL|06 match between the Melbourne Renegades and the Melbourne Stars was abandoned after just 17 overs following heavy rain at Sydney’s Hurstville Oval.

The match was evenly poised when the covers were applied, with the Stars 4-127 with only three overs remaining in the first innings.

Fortunately for the Renegades, the chance to return to the action will come quickly. Very quickly, in fact, for they will meet the Brisbane Heat at the same venue at 9.30am (AEDT) on Monday.

A bright start
Courtney Neale spent last season honing her bowling in the nets, travelling to matches and waiting patiently for her opportunity in the first XI.

The long wait was all worth it for the 22-year-old when she was handed the new ball by captain Amy Satterthwaite and trapped Melbourne Stars opener Elyse Villani (0 runs off 1 ball) LBW with the first delivery of the season.

Although she was struck for two boundaries later in the over, Neale’s mix of pace and swing made her a handful, and she will be keen to continue to press her claims for a regular berth in the ‘Gades’ first choice side.

The perfect response
There’s nothing more deflating for a bowler than being struck for six, especially in your first over of a new season.

That’s exactly what happened to Carly Leeson (2-28), who began her second year as a Renegade by being hit over the fence by Mignon du Preez (32 runs off 22 balls).

But instead of dropping her head, Leeson simply got back to business, and lured du Preez into a false stroke, caught on the rope by Maitlan Brown (0-18) with a hint of an Australian football mark in her catch that would not have been out of place at the Gabba the night before.

Then, two balls later, Leeson struck again, bowling Stars’ international recruit Natalie Sciver for a first ball duck.

It was a great lesson in sticking to a plan and refusing to dwell on a negative, and an over that should drive Lesson to further heights in WBBL|06.

Next up
The Renegades will be hoping for warmer weather when they meet the Brisbane Heat at Hurstville Oval on Monday at 9.30am (AEDT). The match will be streamed live on cricket.com.au and on ABC radio.