WBBL: Smriti Mandhana smashed 64 from just 44 balls© Sydney Thunder / Twitter
Smriti Mandhana smashed 64 off just 44 balls but could not lead her team to victory as defending Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) champions, Sydney Thunder were nail-bitingly beaten by Melbourne Renegades in Launceston on Wednesday. Mandhana broke four boundaries and a six, but her innings were overshadowed by compatriot Jemimah Rodrigues’ 56-ball 75 for the Renegades.
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In the match, the Renegades won the toss and decided to bat first at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) Stadium.
Openers Rodrigues and Josephine Dooley gave them an excellent start, adding 84 runs for the first wicket. With wickets falling on the other side, 21-year-old Rodrigues remained unbeaten and took her team to a total of 142/5.
The Thunder chased down a target of 143 and lost the game by nine runs as they were limited to 133/8 after 20 overs despite Mandhana’s experiences.
The defending champions have to win another game this season as it was their fifth defeat in as many WBBL matches. For the Renegades, Courtney Webb was the bowlers’ choice when she finished the game with figures of 3/21.
The match also featured two more Indian players in T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur (Renegades) and versatile Deepti Sharma (Thunder). While Harmanpreet could only manage three runs, Deepti took a wicket and also contributed with the bat and scored 23 off just 10 balls.
With this victory, the Renegades moved to second place on the points ladder while the Thunder dwindled at the bottom.
The defending champions will now tackle the Melbourne Stars on Saturday while the Renegades face the Sydney Sixers.
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