WBBL 2021-22 – Jemimah Rodrigues outdoes Smriti Mandhana as Sydney Thunder slip further


A round-up from the latest action in the WBBL

Melbourne Renegades 5 for 142 (Rodrigues 75) beat Sydney Thunder 8 for 133 (Mandhana 64, Webb 3-21) by nine runs

Defending WBBL champions Sydney Thunder remain winless from five outings after succumbing to the Melbourne Renegades.

Not even a classy 64 from Indian star Smriti Mandhana could help the Thunder secure a breakthrough victory in Launceston on Wednesday. Once Mandhana was bowled by her international teammate Harmanpreet Kaur in the 16th over, the Thunder’s hopes of reeling in the Renegades’ 5 for 142 were dead and buried.

Thunder were adamant about not panicking after Tuesday’s defeat to the Melbourne Stars, but with just one point – coming from a washed-out game – their title defence is officially in tatters. Their task was always going to be hard without captain Rachael Haynes, who is on parental leave and was also battling injury during Australia’s recent multi-format series against India. It has proved to be a baptism of fire for teenage star Hannah Darlington as stand-in skipper.

But Renegades’ title chances continue to look rosy with Kaur and fellow Indian star Jemimah Rodrigues now coming into their own. Rodrigues set the tone for the Renegades’ third win of the tournament, compiling an unbeaten 75 in a player of the match performance. She put on a 84-run opening stand with Josephine Dooley (37), which immediately put pressure on the Thunder in the field. Renegades’ Courtney Webb was the only player to take multiple wickets, and had an unsuccessful attempt at a hat-trick on the last ball of the game.

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