Renegades, Heat slump to shock WBBL losses

·2-min read

The Melbourne Renegades and Brisbane Heat have slumped to shock losses to hand the Perth Scorchers inside running for top spot on the WBBL ladder.

The ladder-leading Renegades suffered a 52-run loss to the lowly Hobart Hurricanes on Friday in Mackay, before the Sydney Thunder beat Brisbane by nine runs.

The results mean the second-placed Perth Scorchers can secure top spot and direct entry into the final if they can beat the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Sixers in their final two matches.

One win will be enough for the Scorchers if the third-placed Heat beat the ladder-leading Renegades on Saturday.

Under the new WBBL finals format, the team who finishes first earns direct entry into the decider.

Third plays off against fourth in an elimination final, with the winner of that match taking on the second-placed team in what is effectively a preliminary final.

The Hurricanes posted an impressive 5-161 against the Renegades on the back of a 120-run partnership between 18-year-old allrounder Ruth Johnston (63 off 46) and Mignon du Preez (50 off 46 balls).

In reply, the Renegades were skittled for 109 in 18 overs, with tail-ender Ellie Falconer (24no off 12 balls) the only batter to make it past 20.

Falconer's efforts made up for a horror bowling display in which she returned figures of 0-29 off 2.3 overs before being taken out of the attack for bowling too many beamers.

Johnston backed up her hot batting display with figures of 2-17 with the ball, while Sasha Moloney (3-17) cleaned up the tail.

In the late game, Brisbane were on track for victory at 0-99 after 11 overs in reply to the Thunder's 5-162.

But the Heat imploded from that point on, losing 3-4 in a disastrous period before ending up at 9-153.

Georgia Redmayne (54 off 52 balls) and Grace Harris (50 off 34 balls) combined for a 99-run opening stand, before the likes of Sam Bates (2-25), Deepti Sharma (2-21) and Hannah Darlington (2-23) caused havoc with the ball.

Two run-outs also proved costly for the Heat, who remain in third place but can drop to as low as fourth.

Thunder opener Sammy-Jo Johnson had earlier cracked 52 off 36 balls to power her side to a formidable total.

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