The Melbourne Renegades came home strong to finish as winners against the Adelaide Strikers by six wickets.
Sunday’s win puts the Renegades on top of the table as the only team with five wins. After a couple of difficult seasons, diehard fans will be happy to see success.
The Renegades continued the winning form with their fifth win of WBBL|07. They’ve shaped up as one of the most even teams with the most consistent contributors through their line-up.
However, today it was Harmanpreet Kaur that put on a world-class show to bring the win.
Kaur spoke after her game on the achievement of chasing down such a big score. She spoke particularly highly of her coach at the Renegades, Simon Helmot.
“Our coach is very positive and very clear, to just show the game and that is what you want from a coach. To just trust yourself and exude yourself.”
The Renegades started the bowling and looked uncomfortable from the first ball. Sophie Molineux’s opening over went for 13 runs as the team struggled to arrest momentum from the Strikers.
Youngster Ellie Falconer was the best of the bowlers taking 1-25 from her four overs. Kaur once again showed her class in all aspects of the game, taking 2-31, including the vital wicket of Laura Wolvaardt.
Kaur went on to speak about bowling in the WBBL.
“Bowling is something new that I am doing, I’m really enjoying it, and it always keeps me in the game. It is building my confidence and allows me to perform for my team.”
While the Strikers put on a big score of 160, the bowling innings from the Renegades was hardly a disaster.
No bowler went for huge runs, and everyone contributed well. Some critical wickets at the back end gave the Renegades some all-important momentum going into the break and batting innings.
With the bat, it was the Indian pair of Jemimah Rodrigues and Kaur who brought the Renegades home. Rodrigues opened the innings, smashing her way to 27 from 16 balls, 22 of those coming from boundaries.
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Kaur spoke about the messages that were given before the batting began.
“We divided the overs and set small targets for ourselves; as a team, we wanted to achieve that,” she said.
“We were confident that if we set small totals and follow them, we could chase any scores.”
While Rodrigues was important in her own right, it was Kaur that really took the game away from the Strikers.
She came in with the score at 2-33 after 5.2 overs and batted through the rest of the innings. This included importantly building a 70-run partnership with Josie Dooley (29) along the way.
“I’ve done this quite a few times in my life, so I was staying positive,” Kaur said.
“Credit goes to all the girls who were there and supporting me. We had [a] great small partnership that was required at that time. It was a great chase for our side.”
Kaur started slow; the Renegades score after ten overs was only 55. However, an over from Amanda Jade-Wellington went for 16, which launched the Indian star into the stratosphere.
From there, it was all boundaries and big-hitting to get ladies in red over the line. She went on to speak about why she was never worried about her slow start.
“You have to pick the bowlers who you want to attack and who you want to bat safely,” Kaur said.
“Once the spinners were, I just wanted to attack them because those overs were very important for us to utilise.
“I was looking for ten runs per over, and I wasn’t putting too much pressure on myself. I knew if I could stay till the end, we could chase this total.”
Kaur also spoke about the Indian national team and the potential of the women’s IPL challenge being played this year.
“We’ve had really great cricket over the last couple of months, keeping ourselves really busy, before the world cup getting games and preparing ourselves well,” she said.
“I hope we will get the games when we get back because they are important for our domestic players who can get experience for some overseas players. I hope when we get back before the World Cup, we can get those games in.”
The Melbourne Renegades will now move from Lilac Hill to the WACA for their Wednesday game against the Scorchers. The first ball is set to be bowled at 1.50pm local time.
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