Brisbane Heat 6 for 166 (Green 46, G Harris 43, Jonassen 38, Strano 4-28) beat Melbourne Renegades 4 for 163 (Dooley 50*, Duffin 44) by four wickets
Defending champions Brisbane Heat surged into the WBBL final, where they will face Adelaide Strikers on home soil, with a powerful batting performance as they comfortably chased down 164 to leave the Melbourne Renegades with a semi-final exit for the second season running.
Grace Harris put on a display of strong striking as the Heat reached their target with 12 balls to spare, the margin looking a little closer due to a late flurry of wickets, after they had been given the ideal platform by Maddy Green. Offspinner Molly Strano took four wickets, including two in two balls, but the Renegades couldn't find a way to break the Grace Harris-Jess Jonassen partnership when they still had runs to play with.
With the bat, the Renegades top order had produced a solid display, but ultimately, being 2 for 60 after ten overs meant their acceleration still wasn't enough. Josie Dooley hit a maiden WBBL fifty, while Jess Duffin signed off her outstanding tournament with another display of clean striking. Georgia Wareham gave the innings a strong finish with 22 off eight balls but she was one of the bowlers to feel the full force of the Heat's striking later on.
Chamari Atapattu was a handy player for the Renegades to call up following the loss of Danni Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont to England duty. She impressed when the Sri Lankans toured earlier in the season, hitting centuries in both the T20I and ODI series, but has had to slot into the team cold. She started with a first-ball duck in the last qualifying match and in this innings was starved of the strike early on, facing just nine balls in the powerplay, although she was able to launch the last of those for six over the leg side. She fell in the ninth over, but replays showed the lbw decision against Amelia Kerr was a rough one with the ball spinning to miss the stumps.
Duffin gets reprieved (more than once)
Duffin's form has provided one of the stories of this year's competition as she carried the Renegades into the knockouts. However, in this innings she benefited from a significant stroke of fortune before she had scored: facing Jonassen, a delivery slid into the front pad and struck her in front but it was given not out. Hawk-Eye had it hitting middle stump. It took her eight balls to get off the mark as the Heat squeezed, but being in such rich form, Duffin was able to catch up and in the 15th over went above a run-a-ball with two boundaries off Kerr. Then came more fortune when, on 29, she heaved a full toss to deep square-leg but Kerr couldn't hold on, and in the next over, Grace Harris couldn't grab a sharp return catch.
Green helps win the powerplay
Chasing a sizeable total, the powerplay was vital to the Heat and they comfortably came out on top with none for 51 from the six overs. Green dominated the scoring with 30 of those runs off 21 balls, collecting all four boundaries that were struck, while Beth Mooney ticked over. The Renegades didn't help themselves, however, with a sloppy display. There were four byes when a delivery from Lea Tahuhu swung back to beat Mooney, Wareham gifted a boundary when her throw at the stumps was well wide and not backed up, and Green was given a life when Dooley missed a tough chance behind the stumps.
Jonassen and Grace Harris break the chase
For a moment, it appeared that Strano, the leading wicket-taker in WBBL history, had turned the game when she removed Green and Mooney with consecutive deliveries in the eighth over to halt the Heat's excellent start. However, the defending champions have the most intimidating batting order in the tournament and showed it in their response to the double setback.
Jonassen immediately put the pressure back on the Renegades with a brace of boundaries off Wareham. Grace Harris, one of the hardest hitters in the game, helped take 16 off the 12th over when Atapattu was introduced as the game swung firmly back the Heat's way. When the next over from Carly Leeson was taken for 15, the required was under a run-a-ball. They could have eased home, but the finish became rather messy as they tried to blast over the line. Jonassen was yorked by Strano, then Laura Harris played an ambitions reverse slog, before Erica Kershaw claimed her first WBBL wicket with her part-time legspin. Before that, Kershaw had Grace Harris caught at deep midwicket off a big full toss that was called no-ball, but the batter couldn't complete the job when she found long-on. In the end, though, that all came too late for the Renegades in another near miss.