Lanning fires again as Stars go top of WBBL ladder

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The Melbourne Stars are on track to finally break through and make the finals for the first time after a 23-ball half-century from captain Meg Lanning catapulted them to a crushing victory over Brisbane Heat at North Sydney Oval on Sunday.

After a string of washouts to start their campaign, the Stars have caught fire, winning four matches in a row to move to the top of the ladder under new coach Trent Woodhill.

Starring role: Meg Lanning was named ‘player of the match’ after a quickfire half century for the Melbourne Stars.Credit:Getty Images

The return of Australian skipper Lanning after three seasons with Perth has been decisive. The champion batter continues to plunder opposition attacks, surviving a close shave for a diamond duck before taking to the Heat attack.

Lanning hit six fours and three sixes in her knock of 54 from 25 balls. With a host of other handy contributions, the Stars soared to 9-177 from their 20 overs.

After a solid start, Heat fell in a hole, capitulating to lose 5-15. Stars spinner Alana King continued her strong start to the campaign, which is being held entirely in Sydney.

Despite an unbeaten 81 from Heat opener Grace Harris, the Stars won comfortably by 23 runs.

Having stolen victory from the jaws of defeat on Saturday, the Melbourne Renegades wasted a brilliant start to lose to the Adelaide Strikers in Sunday's early game at North Sydney.

Hitting the mark: Stafanie Taylor after scoring a half-century for the Adelaide Strikers.Credit:Getty Images

The Renegades reduced the Strikers to 4-25 after seven overs before Stafanie Taylor drilled 60 from 48 balls to take Adelaide to a competitive 9-127 from their 20 overs.

Yet again the Renegades' batting let them down as Jess Duffin's absence for the season continues to hurt. They fell to 3-12 after four overs and despite another strong effort with the bat from Georgia Wareham (42 from 32 balls) and a quickfire 31 not out from Carly Leeson, the Renegades fell six runs short, leaving them with an uphill battle to qualify for the finals.

Safe hands: Carly Leeson of the Renegades takes a catch to dismiss the Strikers’ Katie Mack.Credit:Getty Images

New Zealand star Sophie Devine ended her run of poor form with a century at the top of the order for the Perth Scorchers against the Sydney Sixers at Hurstville Oval. Devine and Beth Mooney put on 151 for the opening wicket.

Taneale Peschel removed the dangerous Ellyse Perry for six as the Scorchers comfortably defended their total.

An unbeaten 83 from Rachel Priest wasn't enough to steer the Hobart Hurricanes home as they fell to Sydney Thunder by one run at Hurstville.

Sunday's results:

  • Adelaide Strikers 9-127 (20) defeated Melbourne Renegades 8-121 (20) by six runs.
  • Sydney Thunder 7-129 (20) defeated Hobart Hurricanes 7-128 by one run.
  • Melbourne Stars 9-177 (20) defeated Brisbane Heat 8-154 (20) by 23 runs.
  • Perth Scorchers 4-183 (20) defeated Sydney Sixers 5-147 by 36 runs.

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