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WBBL round-up: Rachel Priest flattens the Sixers, Sophie Devine keeps Scorchers on the charge

The Harris sisters inspired defending champions the Heat to a crucial victory and the Stars made it six in a row

Rachel Priest produced a spectacular innings, Hobart Hurricanes v Sydney Sixers, WBBL, Sydney Showgrounds, November 14, 2020

Rachel Priest produced a spectacular innings  •  Getty Images

Hobart Hurricanes 1 for 143 (Priest 92*) beat Sydney Sixers 4 for 139 (Perry 72*) by nine wickets
Rachel Priest played one of the innings of her career as the Hurricanes cantered to one of the finest wins in the club's history to inflict a three-straight loss on the much-fancied Sixers. Priest was brilliant from start to finish, making the most of a life when on 5 when Erin Burns split a tough chance at point.
After the Powerplay the Hurricanes were handily placed on 1 for 42 and after the midway point, as the asking rate crept over eight, Priest picked her moment as 11 came off a Stella Campbell over before, more destructively, 16 was taken off Ashleigh Gardner in the 15th which left them needing 37 off 30 balls. Marizanne Kapp was dispatched for 19 in her last over to leave the result in no doubt, Priest fittingly finishing it with a boundary off Ellyse Perry, while the unbroken stand of 127 with Hayley Matthews, who was the perfect partner, was the Hurricanes' first century stand in WBBL.
The result left the Sixers needing to reset for the hectic push towards finals. The lean runs of Alyssa Healy and Gardner continued and while Perry made her third consecutive unbeaten half-century she struggled to accelerate at the death. Amy Smith, the 15-year-old legspinner, again stood out with 2 for 22 - claiming Gardner and Erin Burns for the second time in the tournament.
"We didn't just get across the line today, we smashed them," Priest said. "For our group that's so big, against a team of superstars. Nobody would have expected that today."
Melbourne Stars 2 for 135 (du Preez 57*) beat Sydney Thunder 5 for 131 (Haynes 51) by eight wickets
The Stars moved to the brink of the WBBL finals for the first time as England allrounder Nat Sciver continued her influential WBBL campaign with another fine display, taking a contender for catch of the tournament then helping finish the Stars' chase. Mignon du Preez made a boundary-studded half-century, timing the ball beautifully from the start, and closed out the game with three boundaries in four balls as she passed fifty off 36 deliveries.
In the field, Katherine Brunt made the early inroads striking twice in her second over which including remove England captain Heather Knight for duck - Erin Osborne taking a super, low diving catch. However, that grab was outshone considerably by Sciver's magnificent grab, leaping high, one-handed, to her weaker left side at point to intercept Tammy Beaumont's well-struck reverse sweep. As she has during the competition, Beaumont's was a labored innings (14 off 27 balls) and it was the closing overs where Rachael Haynes, Phoebe Litchfield and Rachel Trenaman showed more intent that got the Thunder as far as 131.
Perth Scorchers 1 for 123 (Devine 77) beat Melbourne Renegades 3 for 122 (Satterthwaite 48*) by nine wickets
The Scorchers continued to build their mid-tournament momentum as Sophie Devine's thumping innings followed up a very fine bowling performance against a Renegades side facing a forgettable season. The Renegades', whose resources have been badly stretched by injury, produced a poorly-paced innings with the power of Lizelle Lee, coming in at No. 4, arriving in the 14th over. Captain Amy Satterthwaite, who has struggled to lift her scoring rate in the tournament, later admitted she was a culpable as most with 48 off 56 balls although Sophie Molineux's 39 only just hit a run-a-ball.
Though only taking three wickets, the Scorchers were excellent with the ball led by Taneale Peschel's 2 for 17 with her four overs including 15 dots. Although Beth Mooney, the competition's leading run-scorer, fell in the third over it never felt as though the chase would be a problem although there was a stroke of fortune for Devine in the eighth over when a delivery from Rosemary Mair clipped the stumps but the zinger bails did not dislodge. During her innings Devine clocked up her 100th T20 six while Chloe Piparo, promoted to No. 3, provided excellent support in an unbroken stand of 102 which will also have significant helped the Scorchers' net run-rate.
Brisbane Heat 7 for 136 (L Kimmince 41, Wellington 4-24) beat Adelaide Strikers 7 for 122 (McGrath 52, Harris 4-16)
The Harris sisters combined to earn defending champions the Heat a vital victory, firstly with Laura Kimmince (née Harris) crunched 41 off 17 balls to light up a faltering innings then Grace Harris took four wickets, including three in the penultimate over, in what was a badly misjudged chase by the Strikers.
The Heat were floundering on 5 for 71 in the 16th over after Amanda-Jade Wellington struck twice in three balls. They had struggled for momentum through the first two thirds of their innings, the normally free-flowing Grace Harris making 32 off 41 balls. However, Kimmince changed the complexion of the day as 38 runs came off the 17th and 18th overs from Sarah Coyte and Tahlia McGrath and all of a sudden she had 41 off 14 deliveries. Amelia Kerr played a part, too, with 16 off 10 balls and the last five overs brought 65 runs. The Strikers then made the error of not keeping up with the asking rate: the opening stand of 57 between McGrath and Katie Mack taking 10.4 overs. Problems then arrived when Mack was stumped to give Harris her first wicket and Laura Wolvaardt gloved Kerr down the leg side. McGrath and Stafanie Taylor added 50, yet they came to the last two overs needing 29. Taylor swung a boundary, but then Harris sealed the game with three wickets in five balls.