And had it not been for a last ball run out, the team would have advanced to the decider.
With three players fresh from Australian T20 success leading into the season and three top line internationals also on the books, it came as no surprise the Renegades began WBBL|04 with lofty expectations.
“To make the four was a clear performance goal for us,” Renegades WBBL Head Coach, Tim Coyle said. “To make the finals for the first time was something the playing group had really committed to.
“You’d have to describe our season as a success. We set out at the start of the competition with some really clear objectives around what needed to be improved for us; we needed to get better with the bat, improve some areas of our bowling, and improve our fielding.”
Despite the narrow loss, Coyle rated the semi-final performance as the side’s best and said it will serve as a launching pad heading into WBBL|05.
“The belief in the change room post game [after the semi-final] was that we we can win the competition,” Coyle said. “We’re a team that, if we can continue to improve at the same rate we can genuinely win the whole thing. And that’s got to be the goal - that’s why we’re in these things.”
“We’ve got some young and exciting players, complimented by some really hardened, experienced players as well.”
“Molly Strano lead our [bowling] attack with 19 wickets and really good economy rate. She was consistent right throughout the competition and always a go-to bowler for us.
“She was complemented by a great season from Lea Tahuhu, who for mine was clearly the best fast bowler in the comp this year. By her own standards Lea had a bit of a sub-par season last year, but this year she was exceptional – both intimidating and disciplined.
“Georgia Wareham and Sophie Molineux have both continued to improve. Soph had a bit of a slow start the season, mainly as she was wrung out from a long World Cup campaign in the Caribbean, but overall she was exceptional with both the bat and ball…probably our player of the year. Physically and mentally she was exhausted at times throughout the season, but she pushed through and gave us everything she had. She’s a true professional.
“For a young leg spinner like Georgia Wareham to finish the season with have an economy rate of 5.90 – and it was lower than that mid-season – was also outstanding.
“Batting is clearly where we need to improve,” Colye continued. “We definitely showed some improvement from this season to last, but we still have a lot to give. Danni Wyatt’s inclusion was great for us…she’s great amongst the group, she was probably just missing a really big score for us this season.
“Amy Satterthwaite is a really hard worker…she had some struggles with the bat early on but she’s always looking at ways she can improve her game and I think she will continue to push to be a dominant player in the middle order for us next season.
“I also thought her captaincy was excellent again this year.
“I thought Jess Duffin was again good for us with the bat, especially later in the season, and she was excellent for us in the [Semi] Final.
“It was great to see young Courtney Webb make her WBBL debut and hold her spot in the team for most of the season. She struggled at times but again she’s a good bat – which we need – and is just another example that the future of this team lies with a bunch of extremely talented 19- and 20-year-olds.
“We don’t have the superstars or big names in our teams that some team do, so we have to rely on a team approach to our cricket. The highlight of the season for me is that we’ve embraced this concept, and this will continue to be our approach moving forward.”
The focus now turns to list management and ensuring the Renegades can give themselves the best chance of success next season.
“In the off-season we need to sit down and compare our team to the rest of the competition – see what they’ve got that we don’t and vice versa – but with the core group of players we have the brand of cricket they’ve showed us they can play, there’s no reason we shouldn’t set our sights higher for next year,’ Coyle said.
“As well as keeping our core playing group together, we’re keen to do all we can to keep our off-field team together as well. Our coaching and support staff work incredibly hard to support the on-field team, and I think are as good as if not the best in the competition.”