A Perth Scorchers WBBL batter plays a stroke during a match against Melbourne Renegades.

Perth Scorchers miss WBBL finals, Megan Schutt makes history for Adelaide Strikers



Reigning WBBL champions Perth Scorchers will not play in the finals after losing to the Melbourne Renegades on a dramatic last day of the regular season.

As the Scorchers’ hopes of defending their title ended with a rain-affected six-wicket loss, the Adelaide Strikers earned a home final next Thursday with their 26-run win over the Sydney Thunder.

Australian great Rachael Haynes was dismissed for six in her last WBBL match and the Thunder were bowled out for 118 in reply to the Strikers’ 4-144 from 20 overs.

Megan Schutt took 6-19 to become the first WBBL player to snare six wickets in an innings.

The Australian star was on a hat-trick as she snared three wickets in the 16th over to end the Thunder’s hopes of sending off Haynes with a win.

Schutt finished off the match with consecutive wickets in the 20th over.

The Strikers’ win means they will host the Challenger final next Thursday at Adelaide’s Karen Rolton Oval.

They will play the winners of the Eliminator final between the Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes, to be played the day before at the same venue.

The winners of the Challenger plays top side the Sydney Sixers next Saturday night at North Sydney Oval, where the Strikers beat the Thunder.

Earlier on Sunday, showers made play difficult in the regional Victorian town of Moe, with the Scorchers’ crunch match limited to eight overs per side.

The Scorchers had to beat the Renegades and rely on other results going their way to be any chance of making the top four.

The Scorchers reached 2-45 and they had the Renegades’ chase in tatters at 4-15.

But a brilliant innings from Erica Kershaw turned the Renegades’ fortunes around as she smashed an unbeaten 34 to make more than half of her team’s total.

It will be just the second time in eight seasons of WBBL that the Scorchers will not feature in the finals after clinching their maiden title last year.

Meanwhile, the Sixers will enter Saturday’s home final full of confidence after notching an emphatic eight-wicket win against the Hurricanes.

The Sixers racked up their 11th win from 14 starts this campaign as they restricted the Hurricanes to 156.

Ellyse Perry is back to her all-round winning best, taking 2-16 and top-scoring with an unbeaten 56 as the Sixers cruised to victory with seven balls to spare.

Fellow Australian player Ashleigh Gardner continued her sparking form with an unbeaten 45.

The Heat had a chance to secure second spot on the ladder and a home final ahead of their match with the Melbourne Stars, but the match was abandoned as storms returned to hit Moe.

The Stars had got their run chase off to a flying start in a match already reduced due to rain.

The Heat made 5-104 from 10 overs and the Stars replied with 1-49 from four overs before storms ended play.

AAP



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