With just two regular season games remaining for the Strikers, the loss pushes them outside the quartet of finalists and they are likely to need back-to-back wins this coming weekend to secure a playoffs birth.
Winning the flip, skipper Megan Schutt elected to bat, perhaps buoyed by her side’s stunning performance against Hobart a little over 24 hours previously. Unfortunately for the Strikers, today’s clash started in a similar fashion as early wickets fell amidst the backdrop of a restricted run-rate.
Once again, South African international Laura Wolvaardt looked in control, displaying shots from the top shelf as she raced to 36. When Leeson took a nice return catch however, it sparked a mini collapse that reduced the Strikers to 6/87 heading into the final three overs.
Maddie Penna and Tegan McPharlin, as they have both done in recent contests, were again the ones to come to the Strikers' rescue with the bat. Penna smashed one of the longest maximums of the tournament on her way to 26* (13), a cameo that saw Adelaide manage to set the Renegades 123 from their 20 overs.
Lizelle Lee got Melbourne off to a lightning-fast start, getting after Schutt and Darcie Brown in the opening overs. Sophie Molineux then joined in, regularly dispatching Tahlia McGrath and Sarah Coyte to the boundary as the run-rate kept heading skyward.
Lee in particular was unstoppable, smashing 48 (34) before Wellington drew a false shot from the opener that asked plenty of Schutt in the field, but the captain was able to hold onto a great catch and claim the opening wicket.
With 10 overs remaining, the Renegades needed under five runs an over with nine wickets in hand, but the Strikers began to apply the squeeze to the run-rate, managing to fight their way back into the contest through dot balls.
Molineux was unfazed however, and guided her side towards the finish line with plenty of time to spare. Finishing with a personal tally of 52 (43), Molineux played her innings to perfection to sink the Strikers in Sydney.
A few days off now beckons for the Strikers, with a huge double-header to come this weekend against the Thunder and Scorchers. The two fixtures will be the last of the regular season for Adelaide, and with nothing locked in yet, they loom as make or break battles to decide who will play off for the title.