What it means
Victory ensures the Renegades will take part in their second consecutive WBBL|05 finals campaign, and will face one of the Adelaide Strikers or the Brisbane Heat in the Semi-Final next Saturday.
Just who and where they will play is still to be determined by results of the two games played on Sunday afternoon (Melbourne Stars v Brisbane Heat) and evening (Perth Scorchers v Hobart Hurricanes), and will be confirmed by Cricket Australia.
The Renegades broke through to contest their first WBBL finals series last summer, only to go down in a super over against the Sydney Sixers.
A topsy-turvy day
Needing victory to lock in a finals berth, the Renegades were in early trouble, reeling at 2-6 after just 14 balls.
Anna Lanning (3) was bowled by Samantha Bates, while international signing Chamari Athapaththu (0) was caught behind off the first ball she faced.
As has been the case so often this season, Jess Duffin (53 runs off 44 balls) and Danni Wyatt (44 runs off 31 balls) came to the rescue.
They stayed together for 8.4 overs, stapling the Renegades’ innings together while adding 72 runs in very quick time.
Wyatt’s innings was her last for the season, for she will join Tammy Beaumont in flying out of Australia and into the English women’s team’s training camp ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup.
Her season has been outstanding at the top of the order, making 468 runs at an average of 39.00 and a strike rate of 131.83.
Her departure will be keenly felt, but the Renegades will have good reason to trust the sum of its parts, for the likes of Lanning, Courtney Webb (24 runs off 17 balls) and Josie Dooley (6 runs off 6 balls) have enjoyed fine seasons in various positions in the batting order.
Webb, Dooley and Georgia Wareham (17 runs off 11 balls) helped the Gades to 6-151, and they were rarely troubled by the Thunder’s run chase.
A steady stream of wickets put paid to any hopes the Thunder had of sending off retiring legend Alex Blackwell with a bang, ending up 29 runs short at 7-129.
Much of their batting struggles could be attributed to Player of the Match Molly Strano, who captured 3-26 from her four overs.
Skipper reigns supreme
The Renegades have been revelling in Jess Duffin mania, and it’s not about to stop now.
Duffin made 53 from 44 balls (seven fours and one six) during her rescue mission with the bat, further adding to a season that has scaled the highest of batting heights.
In 12 WBBL|05 innings, Duffin has scored exactly 500 runs, with five 50s on her way to a strike rate of 140.05.
She has hit 14 sixes, double her next closest teammate (Wyatt), and now has hit a total of 23 in her WBBL career.
As Scott Rea pointed out on Twitter, the match was her 50th WBBL encounter (including matches for the Scorchers and the Stars), and she posted her 1,000th WBBL run as a Renegade.
Waseem Jamaldini also noted her 500 runs for WBBL|05 is the most by any Renegade in a single season. Wyatt’s 468 this season is the second best, followed by Amy Satterthwaite’s 368 in WBBL|03.
Congratulations to Jess Duffin on scoring her 1,000th @WBBL run for @RenegadesWBBL. In a massive milestone game for her, today she has also scored another 50, scored 500 runs in #WBBL05, her 1,200th WBBL run and is playing her 50th WBBL match. #GETONRED— Scott Rea (@ScottRea) December 1, 2019
Most runs for Melbourne Renegades in a @WBBL season:— Waseem_Jamaldini (@Waseem_Balochi) December 1, 2019
500 Jess Duffin, #WBBL05
468 Danni Wyatt, #WBBL05
368 Amy Sattherthwaite, WBBL03
368 Danni Wyatt, WBBL04
354 Sophie Molineux, WBBL04.@RenegadesWBBL#GETINORED #WBBL05
Got a curious fact for us?
In her 55th match, Georgia Wareham brought up her first WBBL six with a huge hit over long-on on the seventh last ball.
She must have liked it so much that she repeated the dose on the second last ball, going long and strong over the same part of the ground off Hannah Darlington.