Patterson powers Strikers past Renegades and to the top of the table

Alastair Cook announces retirement from professional cricket

Adelaide Strikers 149 for 4 (Patterson 36*, Wolvaardt 28, Prestwidge 2-19) won Melbourne Renegades 148 for 5 (Duffin 54, Harmanpreet 45, Adams 1-9) by six wickets

Bridget Patterson’s late strike propelled defending champions Adelaide Strikers past the Melbourne Renegades at Karen Rolton Oval in their WBBL match on Wednesday.

Despite the gap between the teams in the standings, the Strikers got to work and the target of 149 was not easy on a difficult surface. But Patterson was excellent at the death, finishing unbeaten on 36 off 26 balls as Strikers claimed victory with an over to spare.

Renegades’ total had been built around a 96-run fourth-wicket partnership between Harmanpreet Kaur and Jess Duffin after they had fallen to 41 for 3.

After that, the Renegades needed early wickets under the lights but were thwarted by aggressive opener Katie Mack in the powerplay. She used her feet to great effect against off-spinner Hayley Mathews and took advantage of the wayward short bowling of 16-year-old quick Sara Kennedy.

Kennedy, who bowls at speeds approaching 120 km/h, impressed in his debut season but struggled to keep pace and conceded 15 runs in the third over amid Mack’s shuttle.

Mack had the boundary in his sights on almost every pitch before holing out to Matthews after scoring 24.

Captain Tahlia McGrath became the second Strikers batsman to surpass 2,000 WBBL runs and had no problems alongside Laura Wolvaardt. They were on cruise control midway through before both fell after the drinks break to closer Georgia Prestwidge.

Danielle Gibson, the hero in their thrilling chase against the Perth Scorchers, was set to again lead the Strikers to the line before falling to Kennedy with 26 runs still needed. But Patterson calmly stepped forward as Strikers returned to the top of the ladder.

However, the Renegades’ hopes of reaching the finals look hopeless after losing their sixth straight game.

After electing to bat on a lively surface, Renegades desperately needed Matthews to find form having scored just 99 runs in seven innings.

She didn’t immediately face Tammy Beaumont breaking the boundary off bowler Georgia Adams’ first ball and added another strong knock three balls later.

But on the last ball of the over, when he finally took strike, Matthews had little space as he attempted a cut shot only to be caught behind for a golden duck. It was the second time this season that Matthews lost to Adams and the fourth time he failed to reach double figures.

Renegades’ top-level woes continued when a frustrated Courtney Webb was left stumped after being lured out of her area by Amanda-Jade Wellington’s looping delivery that swung sharply out of bounds.

Beaumont, who had been reprieved in the 12th over when Anesu Mushangwe took a tough return catch, was bowled by Gibson as Renegades looked down the barrel.

In a familiar story, the pressure was on Harmanpreet, who again got the Renegades out of trouble. He targeted Wellington to the ground and also played with his trademark inventiveness, including several well-executed takes, as he mastered the two-pace surface.

Duffin provided strong support and after a slow start, outclassed Harmanpreet with a series of belligerent punches. Both batsmen fell to the death with Harmanpreet brilliantly caught by McGrath low to his left at cover.

Mushangwe deservedly took the wicket of Duffin to finish with 1 for 18 in four overs in a disciplined performance that the Renegades bowlers were unable to replicate later that night.