Jermimah Rodrigues played a pivotal role in Melbourne's victory, making an unbeaten 75* (Photo: @WBBL - Twitter)

Jemimah Rodrigues' highest WBBL score of 75* contributed to the Melbourne Renegades' nine-run win against the winless Sydney Thunder as they climbed to 2nd on the WBBL ladder

Jemimah Rodrigues’ highest WBBL score of 75* (56) contributed to the Melbourne Renegades’ nine-run win against the winless Sydney Thunder, securing the side’s third win of WBBL|07

Coming off an unexpected win against the Sydney Sixers, the Melbourne Renegades came into the match against the winless Sydney Thunder full of confidence.

Winning the bat flip and electing to bat first, the Renegades opened with a new batting combination. Josie Dooley joined Jemimah Rodrigues at the top of the order after Eve Jones was unavailable for the match due to soreness.

The opening pair couldn’t have started better, slowly batting their way through the powerplay without losing a wicket, scoring 30 runs off the first six overs.

Once the field spread Dooley and Rodrigues went on the attack, hitting boundaries for fun while also using the expanses of UTAS Stadium picking up the singles and twos.

Continuing to be aggressive Dooley walked down the wicket looking to score a boundary down the ground but holed out to long-on ending the 84 run opening partnership. The Renegades’ batter’s teased the Thunder in the field as balls would fly short of the fielders.

The Renegades continued to shuffle around the batting order, elevating Jess Duffin to come in at three. Duffin’s (11 off 13 balls) stay at the crease didn’t last long as she continued the search for quick runs.

Sydney Thunder Kate Peterson, in her second career game, ended the inform Harmanpreet Kaur’s (three from four) time in the middle as she captured her first WBBL wicket.

Despite the constant loss of late wickets stagnating the Renegades scoring, Rodrigues (75* off 56) who as the standout with the bat, propelled the Renegades total to 4/142.

The Thunder’s brilliant bowling in the death overs, allowed them to stop the flow of runs, only conceding 22 runs in the last four overs.

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The Renegades continued their tactic of bowling mainly spin in the powerplay and again, the tactic worked with Ella Hayward snaring the wicket of Tahlia Wilson (six runs) in the third over.

Spin was used for all bar one over and the Renegades were able to limit the Thunder’s scoring until pace bowler Ellie Falconer bowled the last over of the powerplay and went for 19 runs, leaving the Thunder 1/43 off six overs.

As the powerplay ended, Smriti Mandhana began to play her natural game, taking on the Renegades’ bowlers.

Mandhana and Phoebe Litchfield put on a 53 run partnership before Litchfield (14 off 19) edged a ball off Courtney Webb to wicketkeeper Josie Dooley. Corinne Hall soon followed four overs later.

Every time the Thunder looked to build a partnership, the Renegades were able to take a wicket.

Once Harmanpreet Kaur took the key wicket of Mandhana (64 off 44). The game looked to be all but done after Anika Learoyd (three off five) was run out, leaving the Thunder at 5/101 with five overs left.

With the steady fall of wickets, the Thunder’s chance of victory was getting smaller and smaller. Deepti Sharma (23 off 10) was able to take the game to the last over needing an unlikely 18 runs for victory.

Bowling the last over, Courtney Webb took two wickets and only conceded the eight runs, holding the Thunder to 8/133 and securing the Renegades’ third win in WBBL|07.

Captain Sophie Molineux (1/21 off four overs, 11 dot balls), Ella Hayward (1/15 off four overs, 10 dot balls), Courtney Webb (3/21 off three overs), and Carly Leeson (1/21 off four overs) were standouts with the ball.

The Melbourne Renegades will now travel to Perth for their weekend fixtures against the Sydney Sixers and Adelaide Strikers respectively on Saturday and Sunday at Lilac Hill Park

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