WBBL round-up: Schutt claims record haul, Perry shines, rain saves Heat, Kershaw eliminates Scorchers

A round-up of Sunday's WBBL action as the finals line-up is confirmed

Megan Schutt took the best figures in WBBL history of 6 for 19, Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers, WBBL, North Sydney, November 20, 2022

Megan Schutt took the best figures in WBBL history of 6 for 19  •  Getty Images

Adelaide Strikers 4 for 144 (Wolvaardt 75*, Darlington 2-36) beat Sydney Thunder 118 (Beaumont 37, Schutt 6-19) by 26 runs
Megan Schutt became the first bowler in WBBL history to claim six wickets in a match while Laura Wolvaardt produced a classy 75 not out to help Adelaide Strikers sew up second spot and a home final on the final day of the season against Sydney Thunder at North Sydney Oval.
Needing a win to jump past Brisbane Heat on the table, avoid the Eliminator, and secure hosting rights for the Challenger, Schutt and Wolvaardt delivered the goods for Strikers and denied retiring Thunder captain Rachael Haynes a fairytale exit from the professional game. The former Australia batter instead received a guard of honour and a standing ovation from both teams at the end of the match.
Chasing 145 for victory, Thunder were in a position to cause an upset. After losing Haynes for just 6 in her final WBBL innings, Tammy Beaumont had cruised to 37 and was joined by the dangerous Chloe Tryon with Thunder needing just 80 from 60 balls and seven wickets in hand.
Beaumont was trapped lbw by Jemma Barsby two balls later. Tryon and Olivia Porter thumped two fours and two sixes in the next five overs to reduce the equation to 53 off 30. But Schutt extinguished all hopes taking three wickets in the 16th over. She returned to pick up two more in the last, having earlier bowled Phoebe Litchfield, to finish with the best figures in WBBL history of 6 for 19.
None of it was possible without Wolvaardt's one-woman show with the bat. She batted through the innings after Strikers were sent in making 75 not out from 56 balls as Strikers posted 4 for 144. She struck 12 boundaries in an exceptional display. Deandra Dottin and Madeline Penna were the only other batters to reach double figures but both struck at unusually low strike-rates.
Strikers will now face the winner of the Eliminator between Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes. The Eliminator will be played at Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide on Wednesday night with the winner to face Strikers at the same venue on Thursday night. The winner of the Challenger will play Sydney Sixers at North Sydney Oval in Saturday's final.
Sydney Sixers 2 for 157 (Perry 56*, Gardner 45*) beat Hobart Hurricanes 156 (du Preez 38, Peterson 3-31) by 8 wickets
A stunning allround show from skipper Ellyse Perry has put the WBBL on notice as Sydney Sixers confirmed their status as the team to beat for the title after a comfortable eight-wicket win over Hobart Hurricanes at North Sydney Oval.
Perry made 56 not out off 39 balls to help guide her side through the chase after earlier claiming 2 for 16 with the ball including 12 dot balls in her four overs to help restrict Hurricanes to just 156. Sixers had already qualified top to host the final and Hurricanes had already confirmed a place in the finals after Perth Scorchers lost earlier on Sunday. They had the chance to clinch second spot on the table and avoid the third versus fourth Eliminator with a win.
But Perry and Ash Gardner snuffed out all hopes with a rollicking unbeaten 88-run stand in just 9.3 overs to mow down the target with seven balls to spare. Gardner finished 45 not out from 29 balls. She did survive one nervous moment when she thought she was caught behind off Nicola Carey but the ball just failed to carry to Lizelle Lee behind the stumps.
Perry and Gardner struck 11 fours and two sixes between them as Hurricanes struggled to contain their mix of power and finesse. They had come together after Alyssa Healy and Suzie Bates had given Sixers a solid start but they still required more than eight runs an over in the final 10 overs of the chase.
Earlier, Kate Peterson took 3 for 31 alongside Perry's miserly spell to restrict Hurricanes after they threatened to post a big number. Peterson knocked over the dangerous trio of Lee, Elyse Villani and Carey. Nicole Bolton chimed in with the important wicket of Mignon du Preez who had played well for her 38 from 29 balls. Hurricanes were well poised at 3 for 88 in the 12th over but lost 7 for 68 in the final 50 balls of the innings.
Hurricanes will now travel to Adelaide to play the cut-throat Eliminator against Heat on Wednesday night.
Melbourne Stars 1 for 49 (Winfield-Hill 22*) against Brisbane Heat 5 for 104 (Wyatt 52, Moloney 1-12) - No result
A late downpour in Moe handed Brisbane Heat a point and denied Melbourne Stars the chance to pull off a remarkable run chase to finish off their season.
Stars were 1 for 49 after just 3.5 overs chasing 105 in a game that had been reduced to 10-overs-a-side thanks to the earlier rain that had affected the Melbourne Renegades Perth Scorchers match in the double-header.
Lauren Winfield-Hill and Sophie Reid made a blistering start smashing four fours and a six between them as the run-rate neared 13 runs per over in the reduced powerplay. But the moment Reid fell to Amelia Kerr the rain settled in and ended the match leaving the two teams to share one point each.
Earlier, Danni Wyatt made a stunning half-century smashing 52 off just 24 balls to underpin Heat's total of 5 for 104 in the 10-over sprint after being sent into bat. She struck seven fours and two sixes in a whirlwind innings before Sophie Day and Sasha Moloney pegged things back with two wickets apiece.
Stars finished in sixth spot on the WBBL table with five wins and three no results. Heat slipped to third and will have to win three straight games away from home to win the title.
Melbourne Renegades 4 for 58 (Kershaw 34*, Mills 3-9) beat Perth Scorchers 2 for 46 (Devine 24*, Ismail 1-12) by 6 wickets (DLS method)
A stunning cameo from Melbourne Renegades left-hander Erica Kershaw has ended Perth Scorchers hopes of back-to-back WBBL titles in an eight-over-a-side rain-affected clash in Moe.
Kershaw smacked 34 not out off just 18 balls to help Renegades chase down a Duckworth-Lewis-Stern adjusted target of 57 with six wickets in hand and three balls to spare after they had slumped to 4 for 15 in the fourth over. The loss means Scorchers will finish fifth on the table and miss the finals just a year after claiming the title with a very similar squad.
Scorchers could have stayed alive if they had won but did need other results to go their way with all eight teams playing their final qualifying game of the season on Sunday. Scorchers were in control of the game after Lilly Mills claimed 3 for 9, including two in the first over of the chase. Chamari Athapaththu and Hayley Matthews both holed out trying to attack the offspinner. She also claimed Courtney Webb just four balls after Josephine Dooley fell to Alana King in the third over to leave Renegades in deep trouble.
But Kershaw played a fearless knock pounding five fours and two sixes. She relentlessly attacked the spinners over midwicket and carved the seamers square through the off side to muscle her way to the target. Carly Leeson provided steady support at the other end in a 44-run unbeaten stand.
Earlier, Scorchers' innings was cut short by rain after the match had initially been reduced to a 16-overs-a-side game due to a wet outfield. Scorchers were cruising at 2 for 46 with Sophie Devine and Marizanne Kapp just starting to roll following the early losses of Beth Mooney and Maddy Green. Mooney had fallen for a first-ball duck to Ella Hayward while Shabnim Ismail castled Green in the fourth over. But rain intervened before Scorchers had a chance to accelerate and ended the innings leaving them to defend an adjusted target of 57.
Renegades finished seventh, with four wins from 14 games.