Sydney Thunder 190 for 5 (Knight 52*) beat Melbourne Renegades 153 for 7 (Beaumont 37, Darlington 4-33) by 37 runs
Knight made an unbeaten 52 from 31 deliveries to underpin a very even batting performance from Thunder’s top order as they posted an imposing 190 for 5 against the struggling Renegades attack on a good batting pitch at the Junction Oval in Melbourne. It was their equal-highest total of the tournament with only Brisbane Heat managing a bigger total in the WBBL so far.
Knight had no hesitation in batting first after winning the toss and her openers made a fast start with Chamari Athapaththu and Tahlia Wilson sharing a brisk 67-run stand in just 7.3 overs. Both failed to convert their bright starts with Athapaththu holing out to long-on for 32 the ball after hitting Georgia Wareham over long-on into the strong breeze. Wilson made the same mistake against Harmanpreet and was also well-held by Georgia Prestwidge for 30 off 23.
They got fortunate when Litchfield hit a long hop from Harmanpreet down deep midwicket’s throat to fall for 27 off 19 after looking in ominous touch. But Knight kept rolling to her first half-century of the tournament off just 28 balls. She took advantage of leaving the power surge until late in the innings as Thunder picked off 27 runs off the 18th and 19th over to help post a huge total. Harmanpreet was the best of the bowlers finishing with 2 for 25 from three overs.
Renegades struggled to gain a foothold in the chase due to Kapp’s immaculate control and skillful outswing while Samantha Bates’ left-arm orthodox was equally hard to hit at the other end. Matthews tried to loft Kapp over the offside but could only slice it to mid-off. Darlington did not come on until the seventh over but clean bowled Courtney Webb first ball.
Ebony Hoskin should have had Harmanpreet clean bowled but India’s captain got a reprieve as Hoskin had overstepped. It did not cost much as Kapp forced a miscue in the very next over.
Beaumont had tried to hold the innings together making 37 off 29 including five boundaries but she was never allowed to gain any momentum. Darlington returned to force another miscue to mid-off. She rattled Prestwidge’s off stump with a peach next ball to be on a hat-trick. Wareham threatened briefly to cause Thunder some problems striking two fours and two sixes in an 11-ball 25 but she picked out long-on to hand Darlington her fourth scalp.
Coyte also tried gallantly making 30 off 20 before she was run out in the final over. Bates finished wicketless but conceded just 25 runs from her four overs, playing a vital part in a well-rounded bowling performance.