Renegades through to first WBBL finals series | Melbourne Renegades - BBL
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Renegades through to first WBBL finals series

12 January 2019

The Melbourne Renegades have secured their first-ever WBBL finals appearance, with a hard-fought 3-run win over the Hobart Hurricanes at Junction Oval.

The Snapshot: After being sent into bat, Renegades' skipper Amy Satterthwaite produced the ultimate captain's knock, notching up 66 runs off 57 balls, in an innings that included 6 fours and 1 six.

The Renegades finished on 6-146 after their 20 overs.

In reply Hurricanes' openers Smriti Mandhana and Erin Fazackerley got off to a flying start, racing to an unbeaten 57-run partnership before the first wicket fell in the 8th over.

The Renegades proceeded to tighten up their performance with the ball and in the field, restricting the Tasmanian's to 143 off their 20 overs - three runs shy of the Renegades' total.

The win sees the Renegades cement their fourth place-position on the WBBL ladder.  With the Adelaide Strikers defeating the Perth Scorchers in Alice Springs, no other team can now break into the top 4 despite four games remaining in the regular season fixture.

In more good news for the Renegades, English international Danni Wyatt has been granted permission by the ECB to remain in Australia and be available for selection by the Renegades for next weekend's WBBL Semi Final.  Wyatt was originally due to depart Australia on Monday.

The Key Moment: It was a gloriously sunny afternoon at Junction Oval, but the tension was rife as Molly Strano stepped up to the crease to bowl the final over of the match from the Fitzroy Street end.  With Strano having the second highest number of wickets to her name so far in WBBL|04 (19), as well as the third lowest average with the ball in the competition to date (15.05 – however Strano has played all 13 games of the season so far, whilst the two players with lower averages than her have played 2 and 4 games respectively) she was primed and willing for the challenge.  The equation?  The Hurricanes needed nine runs off the final over to snatch the win.

Strano’s first ball was played for a single to long on.  Second ball - dot.  Her third ball also went for a single but that was ok – seven runs off three balls was both achievable for the Hurricanes to hit and for the Renegades to defend.  Her fourth ball of the over was played to fine leg for two runs. It was a hard run two, and the Renegades desperately called for a run out at the striker’s end, but it wasn’t to be.  Fifth ball – WICKET!  A sky ball from Hurricanes’ captain Sasha Moloney was safely caught by Maitlan Brown, which meant with one (legal) delivery remaining, five runs were required for the win.  Only a maximum would do it.

When Strano’s final delivery was played away to long off by Corinne Hall for another single, it was relief before celebration for the Renegades.  They had secured the W in another close one.  And if they weren’t aware of the results from the Red Centre already, the reaction from the bench told them that the hard slog was worth it – for the first time ever they were Semi Finals-bound.

The Key Player: Player of the Match, Amy Satterthwaite, led by example both with the bat and on the field.  With Danni Wyatt being dismissed in the first over, Satterthwaite knew a captain’s knock would be required to steady the ship that was the Renegades’ top order and post a competitive total with the bat.  A classy 66 runs off 57 balls saw Satterthwaite bat from the first over right through to the 19th, when she was bowled by Veronica Pyke.

Before taking to the field for the second innings of the match, Satterthwaite was asked if she knew the result of the match between the Strikers and the Scorchers.  She replied she didn’t know and that she didn’t want to, maintaining that the Renegades’ finals fate lay solely in their own hands.  Drawing on her own previous WBBL finals experience – ironically from when she was with the Hurricanes – Satterthwaite’s decision making and motivation of her younger charges in the field paid off…even if there were a few heart-stopping moments to get there!

Up Next: It’s back down the highway to Geelong tomorrow, with the Renegades taking on the Sydney Sixers in their final home-and-away match of the season. The first ball will be bowled at GMHBA Stadium at 2.50pm.