The Melbourne Stars are the hot favourites to win the WBBL crown after their sixth win on the trot lifted them five points clear at the top of the table.
The unbeaten Stars increased their lead at the top of the table to five points with a crushing eight-wicket win over the second-placed Sydney Thunder.
In reply to the Thunder’s 5-131, the Stars cruised to victory with 19 balls to spare.
Mignon du Preez top-scored with an unbeaten 57 off 37 balls, while Natalie Sciver chipped in with an unbeaten 36.
The Stars entered this season having never reached the finals. That now seems a formality, and the title looks theirs for the taking.
The Scorchers appear to be their biggest threat after a third straight win rocketed them into the third spot.
Scorchers opener Sophie Devine rode her luck to power her side to a nine-wicket victory over the Melbourne Renegades on Saturday.
In reply to the Renegades’ sub-standard total of 3-122, the Scorchers reached the target with a whopping 31 balls to spare.
Devine was the star of the show with an unbeaten 77 off 54 balls, while Chloe Piparo chipped in with an unbeaten 33.
The contest could have been much different if Devine had not been dropped on 12 by a diving Rosemary Mair, who got both hands to a skied ball but could not hold on to it.
Piparo also received a slice of luck during her innings when she bottom-edged a ball onto the stumps – only for the bails to fall back into place.
The Renegades’ total – which always looked at least 30 runs too short – could have been even lower if not for some good fortune of their own.
Amy Satterthwaite was on 15 when she was clean bowled by Piepa Cleary.
But just as Satterthwaite was set to walk over the boundary line, replays showed Cleary’s back foot had touched the return crease.
Satterthwaite was called back and went on to make an unbeaten 48 off 56 balls, combining with Sophie Molineux (39) for a 76-run stand – the Renegades’ biggest partnership of the season. The Sydney Sixers slipped to fourth after copping a nine-wicket loss to the Hobart Hurricanes.
The Sixers could only manage 4-139 from their allotted overs, with Ellyse Perry (72no off 68) the sole notable knock.
In reply, Hurricanes opener Rachel Priest blasted an unbeaten 92 off 63 balls and Hayley Matthews chipped in with 41 not out to help Hobart reach the target with 11 balls to spare.
Fifth-placed Brisbane stayed within striking distance of the top four with a 14-run win over the Adelaide Strikers.
The Heat posted 7-136, with Laura Kimmince (41 off 17) providing the fireworks in a knock that featured four fours and three sixes.
Amanda-Jade Wellington snared 4-24 with the ball.
In reply, the Strikers could only manage 7-122 from their allotted overs.
Tahlia McGrath top scored with 52, but it took her 62 balls to reach that figure and the Strikers fell well short.
Heat allrounder Grace Harris (4-16) was the star with the ball, following on from her 32 with the bat.