15/04/2024

Opening with new batting partner Eve Jones, Jemimah Rodrigues helped chase the Sydney Sixers low total after the Renegades spinners went to work. (Photo: WBBL Melbourne Renegades - Twitter).

The Melbourne Renegades' spinners bowling in the powerplay set the game up for their team, as they rolled the Sixers' star top order.

The Melbourne Renegades’ spinners’ bowling in the powerplay set the game up for their team, as they rolled the Sydney Sixers’ star top order.

Despite losing one of their key bowlers in Georgia Wareham, the Renegades showed they have the depth to cover the devastating loss as they suffocated the star-studded Sixers’ top order.

Winning the toss and electing to field first, the Renegades were up and about early with captain Sophie Molineux opening the bowling alongside Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur, both taking key wickets. They were followed by young off-spinner Ella Hayward who didn’t take a wicket but built the pressure on the Sixers’ batters.

As all three bowlers bowled two overs each in the powerplay, the damage was done, restricting the Sixers to 17 runs while sending Shafali Verma, Alyssa Healy and Ash Gardner back to the pavilion after six overs.

The three spinners bowled four overs each and were the Renegades’ most economical bowlers, Molineux (1-18), Kaur (2-17) and Hayward (0-21).

Post-match speaking to the media, Sophie Molineux said that bowling spin for the entire powerplay wasn’t part of the plan.

“We planned to bowel a bit of pace in the power play, I think after the first over we saw it could be effective so we rolled with it before we knew it, six overs [had] gone [and] all three spinners had bowled two [overs],” she said.

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Questions were raised over how the Renegades’ bowling line-up would go without Wareham but Molineux was proud of how her bowlers stepped up to the challenge.

“We’re never going to be able to replace Wolfie [Wareham], [she’s] one of the best leg spinners in the world, even just her presence out there on the field and everything we’ll never be able to replace her,” she said.

“I think Ella (Hayward) come in and bowled four overs and bowled beautifully and Harman was really good as per usual.

“It was great to see different girls step up, Webby (Courtney Webb) is bowling four overs now which is great for her. I think we’ve all realised that we going to have to stand up in different ways to cover the big loss of Wolf.”

The Sixers set 4-118 off their 20 overs, a small total for the Renegades to chase in the second innings. The Renegades made a change to their batting order, elevating English recruit Eve Jones to opening the batting and shuffling Molineux down the order.

Molineux, who normally opens the batting explained the reason behind the shuffle down the batting order.

“Eve’s hitting the ball really well and just [for] a bit of variation, I suppose to get her up the order, she opens the batting over in England [and] has come off a good Hundred series. I think just to be able to inject her into the game earlier,” she said.

“One thing we took out from the game against the Strikers was that we’ve got a long batting line up and we need to realise that and go from ball one.

“Those two at the start put on over 40-50 runs in the powerplay, that’s invaluable especially chasing those smaller targets, it was great to see Eve slot in very nicely.”

The Renegades cruised to the total of 3-120 with three overs to spare, thanks to the new opening pair of Eve Jones (38 from 30) and Jemimah Rodrigues and some late order hitting from Courtney Webb (23 from 25) and Harmanpreet Kaur (35 from 29).

The Renegades will now be staying in Launceston to face reigning WBBL champions the Sydney Thunder on Wednesday afternoon from 1:25 pm AEDT before turning their attention again to the rematch against the Sixers next Saturday afternoon from 1:25 pm AEDT in Perth.

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