Lanning dashes WBBL Renegades hopes out west | Melbourne Renegades - BBL
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Lanning dashes WBBL Renegades hopes out west

02 November 2019

A Meg Lanning masterclass has denied the Melbourne Renegades victory in the first of their two games at the WACA Ground across this weekend.

A frenetic finish
Rain, well-timed wickets and something special from the Scorchers’ skipper meant the match evolved into a classic, despite the countless rain delays and lost overs.

In fact, it almost helped add to the spectacle.

Sadly, it wasn’t a spectacle Renegades fans will want to enjoy again any time soon.

The final rain delay kicked in after four overs of the Scorchers’ run chase, with the home side needing 39 off from the final three overs (the overs were originally reduced to 15, then to 12 and finally to seven).

This is a synopsis of what went down and how it happened during the mad dash to the finish line:

Scenario: Perth needed 39 runs from 18 balls at 13.00 runs per over. Maitlan Brown was given the ball.

Fifth over: Brown comes into the attack and has a dropped catch off her first ball in the greasy conditions. The over included two Amy Jones fours. By the end of it, 26 runs were needed from 12 deliveries.

Sixth over: The Renegades turned to the leg-spin of Georgia Wareham. Incredibly, she struck with her first two deliveries.

First, Jones danced down the wicket and was stumped by Josie Dooley.

Next, Wareham bowled Natalie Sciver who had no time to waste and swung hard on ball one.

There was no hat trick, but instead Lanning started to chance her arm, ending the over with a six and a four leaving 13 needed from the final over.

Seventh and final over: 13 from six. Molly Strano was called into the attack. A tough situation for any bowler with Lanning seeing it like a beachball at the other end.

The first ball was a single. The next went for four. Now Lanning was in the groove. A two and another four followed, as Renegade fielder Claire Koski left the field in pain after appearing to hurt herself during a desperate dive to save the boundary.

Strano sent down a dot ball on the penultimate delivery, only for Lanning, with two needed for victory, to send the final ball over the fence for six to win the game by eight wickets.

The loss is the Renegades’ second dose of final over heartbreak in the space of week.

They will take heart from the knowledge they have taken two good teams right to the very end while away from home, and look to bounce back immediately against the Sydney Sixers on Saturday.

Records tumble
All the action began at the top of the Renegades batting order – again – through the agency of Danni Wyatt.

The English international has made a wonderful start to WBBL|05, reaching a half-century for the second time in five innings.

In reaching 74 from 51 deliveries, Wyatt carried her bat through the rain-reduced 15 overs, going over the top and often helping the ball on its way to the boundary behind square. The Scorchers had no answers to her dominance, as she helped propel the ‘Gades to 1-134.

Wyatt also surpassed 1000 WBBL runs from 46 innings at a strike rate of over 105.

As ever, she was ably supported by England teammate Tammy Beaumont, who made 30 from 22 including a run of three fours from the first four deliveries after the last rain delay of the Renegades’ innings.

They batted so well that captain Jess Duffin wasn’t required for the first time this season. That, in itself, says it all.

WACA weather causes trouble
On again, off again.

The temperatures have spent the past few days climbing higher and higher back in Melbourne, but no one told the weather Gods over in Perth.

Constant rain kept the ground staff busy throughout the night, interrupting both innings at several junctures.

As such, the match was reduced to just 15 overs a side, meaning the Scorchers needed to chase down a revised total of 148 from their 15 overs.

Let’s hope for a few less clouds for the clash with the Sixers on Saturday.

Got a curious fact for us?
Yes, we do.

In the opening four matches of WBBL|05, the Renegades’ best effort in the opening power play was 1-38.

That record was long gone by the fifth over on Friday night, as the ‘Gades eventually motored to 1-53 by the end of the sixth over.

On reflection, it was on the cards from the very first ball, when Sophie Molineux sent Kim Grath to the deep backward point boundary.

What comes next?
The Renegades will move quickly to regroup and bounce back with a game less than 24 hours later against the Sydney Sixers at the same venue. The match will begin at 3.10pm (AEDT) and be shown live around Australia on 7mate.