Heat, Scorchers flex muscles in WBBL

Justin Chadwick
·3-min read

Brisbane Heat's bid for a third straight WBBL title continues to gain pace, but the Perth Scorchers are also looming dangerously following a crushing 10-wicket win over Hobart.

The Heat secured a finals berth after some late Laura Kimmince fireworks powered them to a thrilling three-wicket win over the Melbourne Stars on Saturday.

In a high-quality clash in Sydney, the Stars posted a competitive 5-151 on the back of handy knocks from Mignon du Preez (51 off 38) and Natalie Sciver (33).

Brisbane made a strong start to their run chase but a mid-innings stumble meant they needed 22 to win off the final 16 balls - with two new batters at the crease.

One of those batters was Kimmince and her five-ball innings was enough to destroy the Stars.

Kimmince hit three fours and one six from those five balls to finish unbeaten on 19 as the Heat reeled in the victory target with four deliveries to spare.

Although the Stars will finish in top spot, second-placed Brisbane shape as the side to beat after six straight wins.

Perth, who are just one win adrift of the Heat, continue to be the competition's smokey.

Scorchers skipper Sophie Devine made an explosive return from a back injury to help her team smash Hobart Hurricanes by 10 wickets.

The Hurricanes were restricted to 6-134, with Nicola Carey (36) and Emma Thompson (33no off 23 balls) the only two batters to get going.

In reply, Devine cracked an unbeaten 87 off 53 balls - including eight fours and five sixes - while Beth Mooney chipped in with 48no off 36 as the Scorchers cruised to the victory target with 32 balls to spare.

The fourth-placed Sydney Thunder are equal on points with the Scorchers after posting a five-wicket win over the Adelaide Strikers.

Strikers opener Katie Mack scored 58 off 52 balls to lead her side to 6-133.

In reply, the Thunder reached the victory target with two balls to spare.

Rachel Trenaman top scored for the Thunder with 38, while Rachael Haynes (30) and Phoebe Litchfield (16no) chipped in with important knocks.

The result ended Adelaide's finals hopes.

The Renegades and Hurricanes are also out of the running, while the fifth-placed Sixers will have to beat the Stars convincingly on Sunday if they are to squeeze in to the finals reckoning.

The Sixers were unable to make the best of a promising start on Saturday as they lost to the Renegades by six wickets.

Seemingly cruising along at 104 without loss, the Sixers saw Alyssa Healy (63 off 38 balls) and Ellyse Perry (37) fall in three deliveries to Molly Strano (2-35) and never fully recovered as they finished on 4-166.

A brutal 79 off 45 deliveries from Lizelle Lee - including four sixes and nine fours - gave the Renegades a strong foothold.

It was left to 20-year-old Courtney Webb (46no) - who had earlier taken a full-length diving catch to dismiss Perry off Strano's bowling - to punch home the decisive boundary as the Renegades finished on 4-169.