The Renegades, last on the competition ladder and without a win to their name, looked set to continue their wretched run when they fell from 1-67 to all-out for 110, only to tighten the screws with the ball and in the field against high class opposition.
A batting collapse
In any form of the game, to reach 1-67 in the 12th over, most sides will tell you they’re in great shape to win the match.
Put simply, after a start like that, you don’t expect to be bowled out for 110 just 50 balls later.
That, though, was the fate of the Renegades, who slipped from 1-67 to all-out 110 in quick time.
In the early going, Lizelle Lee (20 runs off 14 deliveries), Sophie Molineux (34 off 42) and Amy Satterthwaite (19 off 23) laid a very solid platform from which the middle order could launch an attack during the final overs.
But once Satterthwaite fell to Lauren Smith, the Gades were powerless to stem the flow of wickets.
Courtney Webb (1 off 1) was run out a short time later, moments before Molineux chipped the ball back to Smith for her second wicket.
Within overs, Josie Dooley (2 off 3), Erin Fazackerley (0 off 1), Georgia Wareham (13 off 11) and Carly Leeson (6 off 10) were skittled, all bowled by Sammy-Jo Johnson and Sam Bates who bowled nagging lines and lengths to strangle the lower order and give the Thunder’s batters what appeared a very gettable run chase.
Sharp fielding makes a difference
Setting out in defence of 110, the Renegades’ bowlers had the job ahead of them.
But their task was made a whole lot easier by some clever and diligent efforts in the field, highlighted by a brilliant run out from Wareham, who helped dismiss Thunder captain Rachael Haynes (3 off 5) with a superb piece of fielding in the deep.
Wareham’s throw to keeper Josie Dooley found Haynes well short of her ground at a crucial juncture of the match (4-34 after nine overs), and when Molineux caught Heather Knight (19 off 27) cleverly off her own bowling, the Thunder was 5-65 in the 15th over and starting to slide behind the required run rate.
But perhaps the best fielding effort came way back at the start of the innings, when captain Amy Sattherthwaite sat under a skied Sammy-Jo Johnson (0 off 5) top edge, tracked it as it swirled in the wind and caught it safely while tipping off balance at mid-on.
Once that wicket fell, the Renegades knew they were in with a chance.
The happiest of birthdays
It’s been a big week in the life of Rosemary Mair.
The New Zealand fast bowler wasn’t even on the Renegades’ playing list last Saturday.
Suddenly, seven days on, she’s played two WBBL matches, taken two wickets and guided her new club to victory in the final over on her 22nd birthday.
Mair (2-23) bowled brilliantly, leading the attack with two early wickets before being called upon to close the match in the final over.
Things quickly tightened up when Mair’s first three balls all went for four off Lauren Smith, but she stayed composed and steadied well, conceding only four runs off the final three deliveries to seal a famous win.
She's done it! The birthday girl has held her nerve + guided us home in the final over!— Renegades WBBL (@RenegadesWBBL) November 7, 2020
Two games into her time as a Renegade, you're one of us for life now, Rosemary Mair! #GETONRED pic.twitter.com/gQqfoF6H1X
An all-round effort
Sophie Molineux is one of the most reliable players any captain could call upon.
Whether it’s swinging hard while opening the batting or taking early wickets when opening the bowling with her left-arm spin, Molineux never lets her teammates down.
Being an allrounder is a difficult juggling act, but the 22-year-old continues to prove she’s up to the task.
With the bat, she put together a composed 34 at the top of the order, hitting only three fours but holding the innings together with her steady and unhurried approach.
Later on, she took the key wicket of Phoebe Litchfield (18 off 26), bowling the teenager as she attempted a reverse sweep, and capped off her day with a fine caught-and-bowled to dismiss Knight.
While Molineux didn’t receive the WBBL’s Player of the Match Award, she is a very easy choice for the club’s equivalent.
What comes next?
The win means the Renegades will sleep well on Saturday evening, but they will need keep their eyes on Sunday’s early start. The match against the Adelaide Strikers will begin at 10.20am (AEDT), and will be broadcast live on Channel Seven around the country.