The Sydney Sixers cruised to a second win of the weekend on Sunday, stamping themselves as the team to beat again this summer with a six-wicket win over crosstown rivals the Thunder.
Following up Saturday’s crushing win over the Melbourne Stars, the reigning WBBL champions restricted the Thunder to 6-142 before chasing down the total in the 19th over before 4812 fans at North Sydney Oval.
Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy set the tone early after missing out on Saturday, blasting four boundaries off Stafanie Taylor’s opening over and setting the Sixers well on their way.
By the time she holed out for 49 on the straight boundary, the result was just about in the bag.
Saturday’s centurion Ashleigh Gardner took over from Healy, not quite as lethally as when she destroyed the Stars attack the day before, but effectively enough all the same.
She finished on 47 from 35 balls, paving the way for Sara McGlashan to hit the winning runs.
It capped a sparkling opening weekend of WBBL that produced a staggering 2023 runs across the opening six matches, and included two centurions in Gardner and Adelaide Striker Suzie Bates.
“Everyone’s just backing themselves a little bit more now,” Healy said.
“Girls are clearing the boundary with ease and just batting really freely, which is really exciting. There was a lot of wickets as well, so there was actually some really good bowling.
“Most of the girls playing in this Big Bash are professional cricketers now. They can spend the time that they probably didn’t have previously working in the gym, working on their fitness or working on their batting or their bowling.”
All-rounder Ellyse Perry registered a rare failure with the bat, run out by Alex Blackwell at mid-on for 12 after unsuccessfully taking on the Thunder captain’s deadly accurate arm.
Perry still contributed though, taking 2-15 off her opening overs a day after hitting a six that thudded into an unsuspecting fan’s face. The boy was taken to hospital on Saturday but discharged later that night, and Perry spoke with him on the phone on Sunday morning.
Just which WBBL team is capable of stopping this Sixers juggernaut remains to be seen.
Granted it’s very early in the season, but this side is even more powerful than the one that beat Perth in last summer’s final.
Outside of the Australian trio of Healy, Gardner and Perry, they are also served by South African pair Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne, and New Zealand veteran McGlashan.
Last year’s leading wicket-taker and Australian representative Sarah Aley is back for another season. So strong is the Sixers’ line up, Irish star Kim Garth, an injury replacement for Lauren Cheatle, is running the drinks.
The Thunder will likely bounce back. They are stacked with batting power themselves, but only Alex Blackwell (58) caused any serious damage on this occasion.
“Not enough runs,” Blackwell said after her side’s loss.
“I thought Perry and Aley bowled really well in the middle there, [they are] outstanding players who I enjoy captaining when I get the chance for [the NSW] Breakers. No surprises that they’re key players in this Sixers line-up.”
Meanwhile, English import Nat Sciver helped steer the Perth Scorchers to a season-opening win over the Brisbane Heat.
Sciver blasted three sixes in her knock of 84 off 46 balls to help Perth post a lofty 6-188. The Heat fell 18 runs short in reply, despite an unbeaten 87 by Australian all-rounder Delissa Kimmince.
“Really pleased to probably score as many runs as I did in the first two seasons in the one game,” Sciver said.
“The longer you bat on it, the easier it becomes. I managed to capitalise on a few bad balls and create a few boundary balls. I managed to get a few out of the middle and lucky when you get it through the in-field here it races away.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.