WBBL round-up: McGrath's wonder catch, Renegades off the mark and Sixers go top

The latest action from the WBBL with a triple-header at North Sydney Oval

Tahlia McGrath celebrates her spectacular catch, Adelaide Strikers v Brisbane Heat, WBBL, North Sydney Oval, November 7, 2020

Tahlia McGrath celebrates her spectacular catch  •  Getty Images

Adelaide Strikers 8 for 153 (Mack 50) beat Brisbane Heat 8 for 135 (Redmayne 65) by 18 runs
An excellent display in the field, highlighted by one of the most extraordinary rebound catches, earned the Strikers victory as the Heat wasted a solid platform in their chase. Georgia Redmayne, with a WBBL career-best, and Maddy Green added 79 in 10 overs for the first wicket but from there they could not form another substantial partnership and the asking rate got out of control. Darcie Brown was superb with ball, removing the dangerous Jess Jonassen, and produced a superb return from the deep to run out Nadine de Klerk. However, nothing could outshine the catch by Tahlia McGrath who ran around from mid-on and dived full length to grab the ball after Madeline Penna had parried the chance from Amelia Kerr above her head at midwicket. With the bat the Strikers fell short of what they should have got after Katie Mack and the in-form Laura Wolvaardt added 75 in 10 overs. Mack departed the ball after reaching her fifty and Wolvaardt's dismissal in the 17th over saw the Strikers lose 5 for 10 before a couple of crucial late boundaries by Sarah Coyte.
Melbourne Renegades 110 (Johnson 4-26) beat Sydney Thunder 7 for 108 by two runs
The Renegades ignited their season as they held on to secure a narrow victory against top-of-the-table Thunder but they had to survive a scare in the final over. Rosemary Mair, who had earlier claimed two wickets in the Powerplay, had 19 to defend but the first three balls were struck for four by Lauren Smith to make it 7 needed off three. However, Mair managed to recover and with five needed off the last ball Smith couldn't find the fence. It was a game where the batters struggled throughout except for some early power by Lizelle Lee. The Renegades fell from 1 for 67 to lose their last nine wickets for 43 but early inroads kept them in the game. Sophie Molineux made key inroads, getting Phoebe Litchfield, who had been promoted to open, then had the in-form Heather Knight caught and bowled. Between those wickets a brilliant piece of work in the deep by Georgia Wareham ran out Thunder captain Rachael Haynes as she came back for a second.
Sydney Sixers 6 for 149 (Gardner 53, Matthews 3-15) beat 8 for 140 (Carey 38) by nine runs
The Sixers were pushed hard by the Hurricanes but in the end their class and depth came to the fore. As Hayley Matthews clubbed three sixes in a 29-ball 20 and Nicola Carey then kept the innings ticking the Sixers were not safe. Captain Corinne Hall and Sasha Mooney got the requirement down to 17 off 8 balls when Hall was run out by a superb throw from Erin Burns as she attempted a second. Marizanne Kapp completed the 19th over by conceding just four leaving Ashleigh Gardner 16 to defend off the last over. It had been Gardner who powered the Sixers' innings with a thumping half-century, which included consecutive sixes off Belinda Vakarewa, the first a huge blow over the leg side. Alyssa Healy also started strongly while Ellyse Perry eased to 35 before falling lbw. At 2 for 123 in the 16th with Gardner going strongly a total around 170 was on the cards, but 15-year-old Amy Smith showed impressive composure to strike twice in an over. Hall later conceded she should probably have given Smith her fourth over.
Melbourne Stars 2 for 120 (Lanning 51*) beat Perth Scorchers 118
Nat Sciver put in a fine all-round performance and Meg Lanning eased to an unbeaten half-century as the Stars kept up their momentum since they have stopped dodging the rain. An almost complete performance in the field meant the Scorchers never got away; they had lost Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney, the latter to Sciver, by the end of the Powerplay. They were in a heap at 5 for 52 before Megan Banting and Heather Graham nudged them towards three figures, but it was always unlikely to challenge the Stars who closed out with three sharp run outs. Lanning had no run rate pressure on her and moved along at ease, the innings including a sweetly-timed clip for six over deep midwicket, while Sciver followed her two wickets with a crisp 33.