The Date was January 12, the venue was the Citipower centre in St Kilda.
Just nine days previously in Geelong the Renegades had beaten the Hurricanes with 5 wickets and 11 balls to spare.
The Hurricanes knew by winning this game they could deny the Renegades a place in the finals. Sasha Moloney won the toss and elected to bowl.
Things got off to a very good start when Renegades opener Danni Wyatt was caught behind off Alex Hartley from the third ball of the innings for a duck.
Sophie Molineux and Amy Satterthwaite then put on 54 for the second wicket before Molinueux was run out thanks to an excellent piece of fielding from Smriti Mandhana at square leg.
The Renegades innings kept powering along thanks to excellent batting from Satterthwaite. The tall left hander hit six fours in her innings of 66 (of 57 balls). With good support from Jess Duffin (30 off 22) the Renegades finished on 6/146 from their 20 overs.
Alex Hartley was the pick of the Hurricanes bowlers and finished with figures of 3 for 21 off her four overs. Veronica Pyke and Brooke Hepburn were the other wicket takers.
At the start of the run chase the Hurricanes knew they could deny the Renegades a place in the finals if they could reach the 147 needed to win. The shape of the competition was in their hands.
Smriti Mandhana and Erin Fazackerley got the team in purple away to an excellent start, the opening stand reached 57 before Mandhana was stumped off the bowling of Georgia Wareham for 26. It was another reminder of the class and quality of the Indian international.
Erin Fazackerley was determined not to waste the excellent start to the innings and demonstrated the full range of her powerful strokeplay, she find a more than useful ally in Heather Knight and the pair looked in control of the game in their 46 run stand.
The partnership ended when Fazackerley was bowled by Lea Tahuhu for 52 off 41 balls. The total was 3/106 in the 16th. Fazackerley’s innings included three 4s and two sixes, it was the talented right hander at her best.
In an increasingly tense and exciting atmosphere Heather Knight and Corinne Hall took the total to 126 before Knight was caught at cover point off Maitlan Brown for 28. It was quality knock from Knight but her dismissal left her less experienced lower order colleagues the task of finishing off the run chase.
Corrinne Hall took the senior batting role in the final stages of the game. When fifteen runs were needed off the last eleven balls a win was on the cards but the Hurricanes couldn’t quite keep the run rate in hand.
When five runs were needed off the last two balls hearts were in mouths, Sasha Moloney skied a catch to Maitlan Brown off Molly Strano and was out for 7, that left Corrinne Hall needing 5 runs off the last ball from Strano to win, she struck it well but couldn’t find the gap at long off. The Renegades prevailed by just three runs and proceeded to the finals weekend.
This was a much improved performance by the Hurricanes and hinted at better things to come.
It will be interesting to see how much has changed when these two teams meet at St Kilda again this weekend…