Heat dialled down, as Gades march on!

 Another unpredictable (well by me anyway) weekend in the WBBL!!

Table-toppers Brisbane Heat managed to lose top spot having beaten Hurricanes in a high-scorer on Saturday, but then limping to just 95/9 against struggling Stars to lose by eight wickets on Sunday.

Meanwhile Melbourne Renegades marched on with another defeat of lacklustre Sydney Sixers, and then a remarkable 161 run-chase on Sunday against Adelaide Strikers. Gades needed 106 from the last 10 overs and then 58 from the last 5 overs. The problem was that Harmanpreet Kaur was batting; Megan Schutt was bowled out; and Strikers felt unable to bowl either Amanda Jade Wellington or Dane van Niekerk. Gades got home with two balls to spare with Kaur 73*(46). It took Renegades to the top of the table.

At the other end of the table Sydney Thunder managed not just one win, but two!! On Saturday 133/5 proved too much for Stars with youngsters Tahlia Wilson (53) and Phoebe Litchfield (49) setting up the win, which spinners Deepti Sharma and Sam Bates then secured with 5/39 between them. On Sunday they posted a respectable 146/6 against Hurricanes thanks to a workmanlike 50 from Smriti Mandhana. Once Mignon du Preez (41) was out Canes never looked like getting close and finished 37 runs short. Deepti was again in the wickets (3/13). Having looked down and out Thunder are right back in it.

Perth Scorchers weekend was only saved by the fact that Sophie Devine is unbeatable in a Super Over. Her stats in the game settler are just phenomenal as @Hypocaust pointed out on twitter….

Scorchers duly won their second Super Over game, this time against Strikers, who failed to score 68 off the last ten overs with 7 wickets in hand to win the game “in normal time”. Just five runs off the 18th over from Alana King meant they needed 20 off the last two, which became nine off the last, and then four off the last 4 balls, but they could only manage three. Strikers then scored nine in their Super Over, but Devine dispatched Schutt’s first two balls for 6s and walked off!

If only Devine could have played the same way in the match the following day. Instead she, and the rest of the Scorchers, looked out of sorts against Sixers, who put 161/3 on the board (and it probably should have been more) including 95* for Alyssa Healy, and then strangled Scorchers who scored just 117/9 in response. It was a welcome win for Sixers, breaking their losing streak. 

So we are halfway through, with just two games to be played in mid-week this week, before six more games next weekend in Adelaide and Perth. Can Gades keep their winning run (now four on the trot) going against Scorchers and Heat mid-week? Two wins and they would have a toe in the Finals set-up!

Martin Davies

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