The Sydney Sixers are this summer’s WBBL champions, with speedster Sarah Aley snaring 4-23 to lead her side to a seven-run victory in Saturday’s final at the Waca.
Chasing 125 for victory, the Scorchers were restricted to 7-117 from their 20 overs. Aley was the hero, taking two wickets in the second last over to help her side over the line.
Intense 38-degree conditions forced Sixers teenager Ashleigh Gardner from the field with heat exhaustion. Gardner got a knock to the head on Friday while batting at training, and she exited the match during the Scorchers’ innings.
Perth opener Nicole Bolton was yet to score when Marizanne Kapp dropped a caught-and-bowled opportunity. Bolton went on to score 34 off 35 balls, and the Scorchers were cruising at 1-60 after 10 overs.
But the Sixers then tightened the screws, capturing regular wickets to reduce the Scorchers to 5-84 in the 16th over. The equation became 25 off 12 balls for the Scorchers, but they fell short of the target despite the best efforts of Katherine Brunt (35 off 30 balls).
Earlier, Alyssa Healy unleashed her trademark fireworks, but she lacked support as the Sixers were restricted to 5-124. The Sixers were on track for a score of around 150 after Healy pummelled 40 off 27 balls, including six boundaries.
But the skipper’s dismissal in the 11th over, with her side at 3-70, led to the runs drying up. They struggled from that point against the tight bowling of Anya Shrubsole (2-17 off four overs), Piepa Cleary (1-15 from three), Heather Graham (1-12 off three) and skipper Suzie Bates (1-15 from three).
Only some late hitting from Marizanne Kapp (34no off 28 balls) ensured the Sixers edged past 120. The Sixers’ batting performance was in stark contrast to their 103-run semi-final win over Hobart, when they posted 6-169 in a powerful display.
The Scorchers were sublime in the field, producing a series of diving saves on the boundary to stop crucial runs.
Melbourne Stars import Kevin Pietersen complained the Waca pitch was too slow on Tuesday night during his team’s semi-final loss. But Healy disagreed when asked about the deck. “Rubbish - it’s a pretty good wicket,” she said.
“The boys complained it was slow, but it was good for us.”