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Melbourne Renegades, with captain Sophie Molineux carrying an injury, fell in a heap

Adelaide Strikers 1 for 86 (van Niekerk 43) beat Melbourne Renegades 8 for 83 by nine wickets

, Talk about peaking at the right time. For the second night running Adelaide Strikers produced a display of utter dominance to book a place in the WBBL grand final against Perth Scorchers.

Where it was Amanda-Jade Wellington who stole the show on Tuesday, this victory was set-up by the seamers – notably the superb Darcie Brown – although Wellington certainly played her part with the ball and in the field.
Everything that could go wrong for Renegades did. They lost Josie Dooley first ball to a huge Megan Schutt inswinger, Courtney Webb was run out backing up and captain Sophie Molineux did not bat having been in a moonboot with a foot injury ahead of the game.

After Schutt’s first-ball strike, Brown then made a mark in her first over when Carly Leeson clubbed to mid-on where Wellington almost misjudged the catch before diving forward.

Jemimah Rodrigues briefly responded with three boundaries off Schutt’s second over but fell to a well-executed plan when she upper cut a short ball from Brown to third. Brown would finish her four overs with 18 dot balls in another agenda-setting performance.

The wheels well and truly came off for Renegades when Jess Duffin crunched Wellington to mid-on, Player of the Tournament Harmanpreet Kaur played across a straight one against Tahlia McGrath and Webb was run out for a diamond duck when a straight drive clipped Wellington’s fingers.

Eve Jones planted Wellington down the ground for a straight six before being run out by Sarah Coyte’s direct hit having more than made amends for a misfield.

By now it was clear that there was a problem with Molineux as she continued to slip down the order and coach Simon Helmet confirmed to the host broadcaster that she was playing through pain and they hoped she wouldn’t have to bat. Molineux, who was tentative in her delivery stride, was taken for 22 runs off her two overs.

The lower order managed to see how the 20 overs but there was never any damage done to Strikers who sent down 68 dot balls.

The chase was always likely to be a formality and the only major alarm came through an injury scare when Dane van Niekerk took a blow on the glove attempting a reverse sweep. She responded with two boundaries and then a six to allay too many concerns.

Katie Mack, in the form of her life, took her tournament tally past 500 runs as she again remained unbeaten.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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