Scorchers hold nerve in final-ball scramble, Strikers complete final four
Scorchers, Renegades, Heat and Strikers are the confirmed finalists with Perth set to host the title showdown
Brisbane Heat 5 for 156 (Redmayne 71) beat Melbourne Renegades 113 (Jonassen 3-10) by 43 runs
Melbourne Renegades' hopes of progressing straight to the grand final ended with a batting collapse against Brisbane Heat meaning Perth Scorchers will - barring mathematical miracles - host the showpiece occasion next weekend.
In the absence of Harmanpreet Kaur who was unable to bat in the chase, Renegades never challenged the target in what they will hope will not be a momentum-sapping loss as they head into the Challenger final on Thursday.
Georgia Redmayne was the star for Heat, who will face Adelaide Strikers in the Eliminator final on Wednesday, with a superbly-paced 71 off 51 deliveries. She added 82 for the second wicket with Georgia Voll who gave another display of her stroke-making ability. From 1 for 119 in the 15th over Heat may have been a little light with 156 but it didn't matter.
Redmayne then produced the highlight of the second innings with a brilliant leg-side stumping late in the same to remove Ella Hayward off the medium pace of Nadine de Klerk.
Adelaide Strikers 2 for 84 beat Sydney Sixers 82 (Coyte 3-12) by eight wickets
Adelaide Strikers secured their spot in the finals by trouncing Sydney Sixers whose forgettable season hit another low as they were bundled out for 82.
Strikers raced to their target with 58 balls to spare making it the second-biggest winning margin in a chase in WBBL history. Dane van Niekerk and Katie Mack added 54 inside the powerplay.
It was an awful day for Sixers from the moment Alyssa Healy skied Megan Schutt in the opening over. Ash Gardner collected her fourth duck in a row when she edged her first delivery from Darcie Brown and after a brief flurry of runs Ellyse Perry was lbw to the same bowler. Their woes were compounded when Shafali Verma was run out without facing a ball.
At 8 for 52 there was a chance Sixers would register the lowest WBBL of all time (66 held jointly by Heat and Hurricanes) but the last two wickets avoided that unwanted record. Captain Tahlia McGrath bowled her four overs for just eight runs.
The result confirms the four finalists: Perth Scorchers, Melbourne Renegades, Brisbane Heat and Adelaide Strikers. Finishing top means direct entry into the grand final. Third play fourth before the winner of that match plays second to determine the other finalist.
Perth Scorchers 6 for 123 beat Melbourne Stars 7 for 122 (Villani 84, Graham 3-16) by four wickets
Perth Scorchers scrambled to a final-ball victory to maintain their push to host a home grand final as the middle order produced an important display to overcome Melbourne Stars whose lingering slim hopes of the knockouts were ended.
A tense finish had Scorchers needing nine from the final over which came down to one off the last ball after Alana King was run out attempting a match-winning second. Taneale Peschel struck the final delivery straight to mid-off but Kim Garth missed the run-out attempt.
A rare double failure for Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney had put pressure on a Scorchers middle order now missing Chamari Athapaththu. When Heather Graham played on against Annabel Sutherland they were 3 for 39 in the ninth and Chloe Piparo's departure left them needing 54 off 40 balls. However, Marizanne Kapp and Mathilda Carmichael, the latter with 30 off 20 balls, added 43 to put Scorchers on track before the finish became very tight.
Stars' innings had a bizarre look to it, dominated by Elyse Villani's 84 off 66 balls with the next-best score being Sutherland's 9. Despite Villani's efforts they had struggled to lift the tempo after solid, wicketless powerplay. Kapp went at under three an over with 17 dot balls while King and Heather Graham combined to take 4 for 32 from their eight overs with 24 dots.
Hobart Hurricanes 5 for 147 (du Preez 87*) beat Sydney Thunder 9 for 143 (Johnson 39, Vakarewa 3-8)
Mignon du Preez and Belinda Vakarewa were at the fore as Hobart Hurrcianes finished their season on a high with a four-run victory over ousted champions Sydney Thunder.
du Preez's 87 off 61 balls was the mainstay of Hurricanes' innings then Vakarewa returned the outstanding figures of 3 for 8 from four overs which included removing the in-form Smriti Mandhana for a third-ball duck. She later returned to claim Anika Learoyd who had looked capable of taking Thunder close to the winning line.
It came down to needing 24 off the last two overs and consecutive boundaries by Phoebe Litchfield lifted their hopes as it became 8 off 5 balls in the final over. However, Sasha Moloney struck twice in two balls then kept Thunder to singles to close out the game.
Earlier, Issy Wong had continued her knack of removing big names where she castled Rachel Priest with a full, swinging delivery in the opening over.