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WBBL round-up: Sixers implode against Lizelle Lee, Laura Kimmince puts Heat into semis

Sophie Devine produced a brutal innings to leave the Scorchers' fate in their hands while the Thunder held their nerve in a tight chase

Lizelle Lee produced a blistering innings, Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Renegades, WBBL, North Sydney Oval, November 21, 2020

Lizelle Lee produced a blistering innings  •  Getty Images

Melbourne Renegades 4 for 169 (Lee 79, Webb 46*) beat Sydney Sixers 4 for 166 (Healy 63) by six wickets
Lizelle Lee turned on the power to leave the Sixers with only a slim chance of making the semi-finals and needing considerable help from other teams to do so. Despite a century opening stand between Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry, the Sixers couldn't make the most of it in the second half of the innings. In reply, Lee was stunning - after being dropped at backward point in the opening over - her innings including four sixes one of which was clocked at 87 meters is it went out of the ground.
Lee added 73 in just over five overs with Courtney Webb to turn the game in its head, after the Renegades had been 3 for 70 in the 11th over, and though she fell to a catch in the deep Webb was able to comfortably see the game home amid a ragged fielding display which included Perry and Dane van Niekerk colliding as they both went for a catch. The Sixers were also without Hayley Silver-Holmes who was withdrawn from the XI midway through the game due to an administrative error which meant she was not eligible to play.
Webb had earlier produced one of the highlights of the first innings with a stunning, full-length diving catch running back over her shoulder at cover to remove Perry which came just two balls after Healy's barnstorming 63 had ended.
That stalled the Sixers' momentum and though Marizanne Kapp played nicely they never quite regained it. Healy, though, had shown the full 360-degree game she has previously spoken about developing, the most eye-catching shot of her innings not the four sixes but a reverse paddle scoop through third man.
Brisbane Heat 7 for 152 beat Melbourne Stars 5 for 151 (du Preez 51) by three wickets
Laura Kimmince did it again for the Heat, launching 19 off 5 balls, as the defending champions overcame a wobble to put initially put one foot into the semi-finals before the Sixers' defeat later in the day confirmed their spot. At 2 for 109 in the 13th over they were well in control of the chase, needing 43 off 43 deliveries, but Katherine Brunt pulled off a brilliant run out from her follow through to remove the in-form Georgia Redmayne and things got tight.
Georgia Voll had given another glimpse of her talent with a brisk 34, including a straight six over long-on, but both her and Maddy Green fell to catches in the ring in the space five deliveries. Kimmince appeared to have sealed it with a massive leg-side six, but Tess Flintoff bowled an excellent penultimate over which claimed two wickets and cost just two runs leaving eight needed off the last. However, it only took Kimmince two balls as she smoked consecutive boundaries off Annabel Sutherland.
The Stars' total was built around another half-century from Mignon du Preez - her fourth in five innings - and after Grace Harris struck twice in the 17th over to leave them 5 for 117, Brunt and Alana King provided a strong finish as 27 came off the last two overs.
Sydney Thunder 5 for 136 beat Adelaide Strikers 6 for 133 by five wickets
The Thunder held their nerve in a tense chase against the Strikers to keep themselves well placed for a place in the semi-finals. It got closer than they would have liked, particularly when captain Rachael Haynes departed in the penultimate over to leave them needing eight off seven deliveries, but some scampering by Phoebe Litchfield and Tahlia Wilson then a boundary by the former sealed the match.
The chase had started well as Tammy Beaumont and Rachel Trenaman added 44, but there was a wobble in the middle order and the Thunder were grateful for the experience of Haynes who made 30 off 23 balls.
The result left the Strikers on the brink of elimination with a host of results having to go their way. They struggled for momentum with the bat, particularly through the first half of the innings: at 10 overs they were 2 for 51. Katie Mack and Stafanie Taylor lifted things - Mack bringing up her half-century off 45 balls - but the Thunder closed out strongly with the ball with just 11 runs coming off the last two overs.
Perth Scorchers 0 for 140 (Devine 87*) beat Hobart Hurricanes 6 for 134 by 10 wickets
The Scorchers' opening pair, the fit-again Sophie Devine and prolific Beth Mooney, flexed their muscles to power their team to a crushing victory to leave their semi-final destiny in their own hands.
Devine, who did not bowl following the back injury that had kept her out for two games, clobbered 87 off 53 with five sixes, one of which was a monstrous blow over long-on that narrowly avoided taking out two policemen and the last was a massive blow off Chloe Tryon to finish the game. With Mooney ticking along comfortably the century stand was raised in the 12th over against a Hurricanes attack that had few answers after Belinda Vakarewa limped off unable to complete her first over. The margin of victory, with more than five overs to spare, was also a boost for the Scorchers' net run rate which may yet be a factor.
They were excellent with the ball and in the field - Devine calling it their best display of the season - with Taneale Peschel once again impressive with 1 for 13 off her four overs, including a maiden, while Sam Betts removed the key wickets of Nicola Carey and Tryon in the space of three balls. The sharp fielding display was typified by Sarah Glenn's direct hit run out to remove Naomi Stalenberg.