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Melbourne Renegades hopes of top spot take a hit, Brisbane Heat suffer costly collapse

Ruth Johnston had a day to remember for Hurricanes while Heat can now no longer finish better than second

AAP and ESPNcricinfo staff
19-Nov-2021
Ruth Johnston played an impressive innings  •  Getty Images

Ruth Johnston played an impressive innings  •  Getty Images

Hobart Hurricanes 5 for 161 (Johnston 63, du Preez 50) beat Melbourne Renegades 109 (Moloney 3-17) by 52 runs
Melbourne Renegades' hopes of topping the WBBL ladder and earning direct entry into the final copped a huge blow after they suffered a crushing 52-run loss to Hobart Hurricanes
Hurricanes posted an impressive 5 for 161 on the back of a 120-run partnership between Ruth Johnston and Mignon du Preez. Ellie Falconer returned figures of 0 for 29 off 2.3 overs before being taken out of the attack for bowling too many beamers.
The shock upset means the second-placed Perth Scorchers (16 points) now have their destiny in their own hands. Scorchers take on the Melbourne Stars in Adelaide on Saturday before finishing their home-and-away campaign against the Sydney Sixers on Sunday. Perth's superior net run-rate means they are guaranteed to finish first if they can win against both the Stars and Sixers.
Under the new WBBL finals format, the team who finish first earn 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.
Hurricanes entered Friday's game on bottom of the ladder, but their impressive display with both bat and ball saw them rise to sixth. Johnston backed up her impressive batting display with figures of 2 for 17 with the ball, while Sasha Moloney (3-17) cleaned up the tail.
Sydney Thunder 5 for 162 (Johnson 52) beat Brisbane Heat 9 for 153 (Redmayne 54, Harris 50) by nine runs
Brisbane Heat saw then chances of finishing top, and therefore heading straight into a home final, dashed with a batting collapse against Sydney Thunder.
Georgia Redmayne and Grace Harris opened with a stand of 99 in 11 overs as Heat chased 163, but they then crashed to 9 for 153 with only Mikayla Hinkley joining them on double figures. Harris had made 50 off 34 balls before falling to Sam Bates who remove Laura Kimmince, who had been promoted to No. 3, two balls later.
Thunder were excellent in the field with Phoebe Litchfield and Anika Learoyd producing run outs while Redmayne was well caught by Deepti Sharma. When Jess Jonassen cleared the fence it briefly looked like the captain could mount a late charge but she and Hinkley fell in consecutive balls to Hannah Darlington before Deepti capped off a fine bowling display with a brace of final-over wickets.
Sammy-Jo Johnson's half-century had been the centerpiece of Thunder's innings as she again opened with Smriti Mandhana. The pair added a rapid 58 in 6.3 overs before Litchfield joined in another solid partnership for the second wicket. Three wickets then fell for six runs, but Deepti and latterly Darlington provided useful runs.
The highest Heat can now finish in the table is second with one game remaining.