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Renegades hold their nerve

18 November 2021

The Melbourne Renegades have returned to the top of the WBBL table after holding off a gallant Sydney Thunder in a Wednesday night thriller.

Despite the heroics of Thunder opener Smriti Mandhana, her team fell four runs short in pursuit of the Renegades total of 4/175.

Mandhana produced an equal WBBL highest ever score of 114*, but she still needed a six off the final ball of the match if she was to claim a miraculous victory for her team.

Once again it was Harmanpreet Kaur who held her nerve, executing the final delivery perfectly to keep the scoring to just one run.

Earlier Kaur had starred with the bat as well, blasting 81* not out as the Renegades recovered from a shaky start to record their second highest total of the season.

Rodrigues and Leeson fell inside three overs, the latter to a brilliant catch at mid-on to leave the Renegades reeling at 2-9 off 3 overs.

Kaur and Eve Jones steadied the ship with a 92-run stand for the third wicket, the highest third wicket partnership in the club’s history.

Jones fell for 42 with Duffin joining Kaur at the crease with the pair continuing the momentum.

Duffin was run out off the final ball of the innings having produced a well made 33. Kaur’s hand of 81* came with 11 fours and 2 sixes.

The Renegades started well with the ball, claiming the wicket of Sammy Jo-Johnson in the powerplay, followed by Phoebe Litchfield a short time later.

But Mandhana was a constant danger, and she put on 125 in an unbeaten third wicket stand with Tahlia Wilson, with the Indian import contributing 83 of those runs.

Mandhana took 24 runs off the 18th over of the innings and when she clipped Molineux to the boundary at the end of the 19th, the Thunder needed 13 off the final over.

Harmanpreet Kaur would keep them to just 8, conceding no boundaries in a well executed piece of bowling to help secure the Renegades 8th victory of the season, and return them to the top of the table.

Next up for the league leaders is a clash with the Hobart Hurricanes, also in Mackay tomorrow afternoon.