Brisbane Heat’s bid for a third straight WBBL title continues to gain pace, but the Perth Scorchers are looming dangerously following a crushing 10-wicket win over Hobart.
Perth, who are just one win adrift of the Heat, continue to be the competition’s smokey.
Scorchers skipper Sophie Devine made an explosive return from a back injury after the Hurricanes were restricted to 6-134, with Nicola Carey (36) and Emma Thompson (33no off 23 balls) the only two batters to get going.
In reply, Devine cracked an unbeaten 87 off 53 balls and Beth Mooney chipped in with 48no off 36 as the Scorchers cruised to the victory target with a whopping 32 balls to spare.
Devine’s knock featured eight fours and five sixes, with Amy Smith (0-36 off two overs) feeling the bulk of the pain.
Importantly, Perth’s dominant win gave their net run rate a massive boost — a factor that could prove decisive as the battle for finals spots heats up with just one round remaining.
Hurricanes speedster Belinda Vakarewa bowled just five balls before limping off with a left ankle injury.
In the other matches, the Heat all-but-secured a finals berth after some late Laura Kimmince fireworks powered them to a thrilling three-wicket win over the Melbourne Stars on Saturday.
In a high-quality top-of-the-table clash in Sydney, the Stars posted a competitive 5-151 on the back of handy knocks from Mignon du Preez (51 off 38) and Natalie Sciver (33).
Brisbane made a strong start to their run chase but a mid-innings stumble meant they needed 22 runs to win off the final 16 balls – with two new batters at the crease.
One of those batters was Kimmince and her five-ball innings was enough to destroy the Stars.
Kimmince hit three fours and one six from those five balls to finish unbeaten on 19 as the Heat reeled in the victory target with four deliveries to spare.
Although the Stars will finish in top spot, second-placed Brisbane shape as the side to beat after six straight wins.
The fourth-placed Sydney Thunder are equal on points with the Scorchers after posting a five-wicket win over the Adelaide Strikers.
Strikers opener Katie Mack scored 58 off 52 balls to lead her side to 6-133.
In reply, the Thunder reached the victory target with two balls to spare.
Rachel Trenaman top scored for the Thunder with 38, while Rachael Haynes (30) and Phoebe Litchfield (16no) chipped in with important knocks.
Thunder pace bowler Sammy-Jo Johnson was named player of the match after snaring 3-25 off her four overs.
The result ended Adelaide’s finals hopes.
The Renegades and Hurricanes are also out of the running, but the fifth-placed Sixers are still a chance to squeeze into the top four.