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Scorchers made to wait on WBBL fate after defeat opens door to Sixers

Perth Scorchers face a nervous wait to learn their WBBL finals fate after throwing away the chance to clinch a top-four spot with a three-run defeat to Adelaide Strikers in Sydney.

In-form batters Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney produced a 118-run opening stand on Sunday to put the Scorchers well on track in their pursuit of the Strikers’ 159-6. But Devine’s wicket sparked a massive collapse as the Scorchers lost 5-20 in the space of four overs.

They needed nine runs off the final over to win but Sarah Coyte’s tight bowling got Adelaide across the line as Perth could only manage 156-7. Player of the match Amanda-Jade Wellington (48 off 25) smashed five fours and two sixes for the Strikers, helping set the Scorchers a difficult run-chase.

Sydney Sixers can now leapfrog Perth into a finals spot if they beat top side Melbourne Stars by a big margin.

In Sunday’s early game, the Sydney Thunder locked away their top-four berth with a six-wicket win over the last-placed Hobart Hurricanes.

Shabnim Ismail ripped through the Hurricanes’ top order at Drummoyne Oval, claiming three wickets in her first two overs to set up the victory. Her destructive opening spell helped restrict the Hurricanes to 115-9, which the Thunder mowed down comfortably to confirm their semifinal appearance.

Phoebe Litchfield (24 not out), Heather Knight (25) and Tammy Beaumont (22) helped ensure the Thunder reached 116-4 to ensure victory with 19 balls to spare. Nicola Carey (2-23) was the pick of Hobart bowlers.

The loss meant the Hurricanes finished the WBBL campaign with the wooden spoon.

Right-arm seamer Ismail finished with match figures of 3-10 from four overs as Hannah Darlington (3-24) also claimed three wickets for the Thunder.

Rachel Priest (32) and Sasha Moloney (39) led the Hurricanes’ batting fightback after their early stumble and the run rate briefly pushed back towards six an over.

But Moloney fell to Knight (1-18) in the 15th over and the wicket triggered a stream of dismissals that put the brakes on the Hurricanes’ recovery. The Thunder never looked like falling short in their run chase.

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