Stars and Renegades head into a derby double-header
The two Melbourne-based WBBL sides play the first of two games against each other in the space of four days on Saturday at Marvel Stadium.
The Renegades and Stars face-off in a curtain-raiser to the Renegades' BBL game against the Sydney Sixers.
The two sides, who recommence hostilities on New Years Day in a curtain-raiser to the mens Melbourne derby at the MCG, will both be desperate to turn around their middling form.
The Stars sit just outside the finals positions with a 50-50 record, while the Renegades sit two games off the finals spots having played fewer games.
With seven games remaining in their season, Renegades captain Amy Satterthwaite says her side, particularly its top-order batters, need to do some “soul-searching, and quickly” if theyre to resurrect their season and push for a finals berth.
Lamenting another game in which the Renegades' tail were asked to chase a high-run tally, Satterthwaite said she was pleased her side didnt roll over against the Sydney Sixers on Thursday night, taking positives from a game in which the Sixers wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy smashed 70 from 42 balls.
Renegades spinner Georgia Wareham also expressed disappointment the Renegades inability to “click” this season.
Wareham insisted the three Renegades members of the women's T20 World Cup winning squad, who had a short turnaround between arriving back from the World Cup to the WBBL opening round, were not suffering from a dip in form due to their international exploits.
Wareham's World Cup teammates Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy have been standout performers since arriving back from the cup, both registering centuries in recent matches.
Meanwhile, Stars opener Lizelle Lee will be looking to recapture her early-season form.
Lee started the season registering a remarkable innings of 102 runs from 56 balls, before suffering a dip in form. Scores of 25 and 33 in her past two outings suggest the South African is on her way to meeting the high expectations she set in round one.
Lee, playing in her second WBBL season, said she was relishing the bigger crowds and increased focus on the womens game in Australia.
Both teams enter a busy stretch of games over the new years period. The Renegades travel to Geelong to face the Hobart Hurricanes just two days after the January 1 derby against the Stars, while the Stars travel to Sydney to face the Thunder on January 5.
Paul is a reporter for The Age.