Thank you very much for joining me today for what was a thrilling end to a superb WBBL season. Well done Brisbane Heat, worthy winners on a fantastic day for women’s cricket at a sold out Drummoyne Oval.
There’s plenty more OBO coverage to come today though, so feel free to nip on over to live coverage of the opening men’s Test against Sri Lanka where Adam Collins is already firing out the updates.
Kirby Short accepts the WBBL trophy, raises it above her head and then joins her teammates in whoops of delight.
The Brisbane players are now parading across the dais to receive their medals.
Beth Mooney is named the player of the final. No surprise really, her 65 was the defining hand in the match and set the tone early for Brisbane’s run chase. That she did it suffering from heat exhaustion only made it even more impressive.
Ellyse Perry has been named the player of the tournament. 777 runs and ten wickets. Handy.
Today she scored 33, bowled her four overs for 0/20 and took a superb catch.
Brisbane’s players are all being interviewed out on Drummoyne Oval. The responses are variations of disbelief. Plenty of broad smiles and jubilant hugs. Tremendous scenes.
Deep breaths. What a finish. Gripping end to a superb tournament. The underdogs have done it.
Brisbane Heat win WBBL04!
19.2 over: Brisbane Heat 132-7 (L Harris 9, Kimmince 2) Harris slaps a short delivery away to the midwicket fence, two Sixers fielders converge and slide into each other on the boundary, the ball bobbling through the collision and over the rope. Brisbane win!
19.1 over: Brisbane Heat 128-7 (L Harris 5, Kimmince 2) Kimmince slices into the offside for a single.
Four runs to win.
Final over coming up. Kapp has 1/11 from her three overs so far. Harris and Kimmince at the crease. Superb sporting drama.
WICKET! Wolvaardt run out 9 (Brisbane Heat 126-7)
Heat connect sweetly to the opening three deliveries of van Niekerk’s over but they all find fielders. The fourth beats the ring and Wolvaardt celebrates four over cover. She’s not celebrating for long though, after slogging to cow corner she chances Kapp’s arm with a second run and finds herself a few inches short when Healy whips off the bails.
Five required to win from the final over! The drama!
19th over: Brisbane Heat 127-6 (L Harris 5, Kimmince 1)
18th over: Brisbane Heat 117-6 (L Harris 4, Wolvaardt 1) Huge over from Burns. The asking rate climbs to 15 from 12, and Heat now have just four wickets in hand.
WICKET! Dooley LBW Burns 9 (Brisbane Heat 116-6)
Erin Burns comes back for her fourth and final over. Heat begin with a pair of twos, the second of whcih should have been a run-out but Healy can’t hold on to Kapp’s bullet throw with a dismissal at her mercy. It matters little though, Dooley missing a Burns full toss leaving the umpire with little choice but to send her back to the pavilion.
17th over: Brisbane Heat 112-5 (L Harris 4, Dooley 5) Perry backs herself to take responsibility and she delivers. A single precedes three dot balls, the second of which almost ends in a run-out. The Heat are trying too hard to go big instead of working the gaps and picking off the singles - the run-rate is still in Brisbane’s favour. Two singles close out the over. 20 required from 18 balls.
16th over: Brisbane Heat 109-5 (L Harris 3, Dooley 3) This is becoming a gripping final and out of nowhere the crowd is suddenly involved. Can Brisbane hold their nerve? The Sixers have upped the intensity over the past couple of overs but they still need to keep picking up wickets.
WICKET! Jonassen LBW Burns 2 (Brisbane Heat 103-5)
What is happening out there!? Third wicket in seven balls and the Heat are collapsing. This time Jonassen gets herself in all sorts of trouble attempting to reverse sweep. The ball strikes her tangled legs near enough in front, but with a hint that contact could have been outside the line of off stump. Regardless, the finger was raised and Jonassen has to go.
WICKET! Mooney c Perry b van Niekerk 65 (Brisbane Heat 102-4)
Here we go! Mooney’s super innings ends with a super catch by Ellyse Perry. The Heat left-hander tried to loft van Niekerk over the infield but got too much on it and it carried all the way to the sweeping Perry who sprinted in, dived forward, and held onto a brilliant catch. This game is alive again!
15th over: Brisbane Heat 103-4 (Jonassen 2, Dooley 0)
WICKET! Short c Burns b van Niekerk 29 (Brisbane Heat 98-3)
Could that be the moment that brings the Sixers back into the mix? Short tries to take van Niekerk downtown but doesn’t get all of it. Short runs around from long-on and holds onto a good catch.
14th over: Brisbane Heat 98-2 (Mooney 62, Short 29) The Heat are cruising now, finding runs at will, conventionally and improvised. Mooney continues to impress under duress, lapping for a couple then lofting for a couple more, repeating the latter later in the over to bring the required run-rate below 6rpo. Mooney is now batting in an ice vest.
13th over: Brisbane Heat 89-2 (Mooney 55, Short 27) Perry brings herself back into the attack as the Sixers desperately try to regain a foothold in this contest. But the all-rounder’s extra pace works in the Heat’s favour when Short slashes an edge just beyond Healy and away for four and Mooney larrups a length delivery over mid-on for another boundary.
12th over: Brisbane Heat 79-2 (Mooney 50, Short 22) Eighth bowler for the Sixers in just the 12th over with Erin Burns handed an opportunity. She has a big shout for LBW declined then almost has Short caught reverse sweeping. She can’t prevent Beth Mooney from reaching her 50 though. What a courageous and important knock this is becoming.
11th over: Brisbane Heat 74-2 (Mooney 48, Short 19) Van Niekerk back into the attack and it should have brought about the end of Mooney but Lauren Smith makes a mess of a straightforward throw to Healy and the run out opportunity goes begging. Mooney is really struggling out there. She received plenty of attention during a drinks break for heat exhaustion. But while she’s at the crease she’s doing all she can to help her side, running consecutive twos then sweeping a boundary, ending each passage of play doubled over gulping in air. This is becoming the Mooney final. Can she last long enough to see the Heat home?
10th over: Brisbane Heat 64-2 (Mooney 39, Short 18) The Heat are flying now. Even Short’s getting in on the act, cutting Lauren Cheatle’s first delivery for two then stepping across her stumps to flick a confident four off her toes.
Meanwhile, Mooney looks to be struggling with the heat out there (no pun intended). She is spending a lot of time crouching on her haunches and looking in discomfort in between deliveries.
9th over: Brisbane Heat 57-2 (Mooney 39, Short 11) Another bowling change with Perry reverting to Lauren Smith’s off-spin, but she begins with a howler, a no-ball full toss that Mooney slaps for four, the Heat star backing it up by driving the free hit for another four through long-off. A third boundary in the over follows another full toss and the momentum in this final has swung wildly the Heat’s way.
8th over: Brisbane Heat 42-2 (Mooney 27, Short 10) The experienced Sarah Aley comes into the attack and it prompts some brilliant improvisation from Mooney, adjusting her stance early and ramping a boundary over Alyssa Healy’s head. Mooney is looking ominous and firming as the decisive character in this final. At the other end Short is doing well to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
7th over: Brisbane Heat 35-2 (Mooney 22, Short 8) Dane van Niekerk’s turn to roll her arm over but she might regret stepping up the crease. Mooney’s intent is finally rewarded with a boundary through cow corner. Some sharp running means only one dot ball from the over.
6th over: Brisbane Heat 26-2 (Mooney 15, Short 6) Perry gives herself a second over and it’s a tidy one, plenty of pace on a good line and length. Again, Mooney is busy at the crease and looking to impose herself but she’s struggling to find much of the strike or penetrate the infield.
5th over: Brisbane Heat 23-2 (Mooney 13, Short 5) Kapp’s spell extends to three overs and another excellent set of six goes for just four singles. Mooney is looking to assert herself but the bowling has been good enough to keep in check so far.
4th over: Brisbane Heat 19-2 (Mooney 11, Short 3) After 33 with the bat, time for Ellyse Perry to show what she can do with the ball. It’s a tidy start, just four singles for the Heat, and another run out chance with Mooney well out of her ground with a direct hit from cover, but the throw was well off target.
3rd over: Brisbane Heat 15-2 (Mooney 9, Short 1) Kapp gave a full throated roar in the direction of Johnson when that wicket fell. Lovely stuff.
WICKET! Johnson b Kapp 4 (Brisbane Heat 14-2)
Another boundary for the Heat, this time Sammy-Jo Johnson timing Kapp beautifully through the covers. But that’s as good as things get for the Heat No3. She goes for the slog two balls later, misses, and the zing bails light up. The Sixers are fighting back hard early in the Heat innings.
2nd over: Brisbane Heat 10-1 (Mooney 9, Johnson 0) Mooney retains her composure to rock back and fire Gardner behind point for another boundary. It’s all happening at Drummoyne Oval.
WICKET! Harris run out 1 (Brisbane Heat 6-1)
Ashleigh Gardner’s spin up next but her first delivery from around the wicket is lofted disdainfully over the covers by Mooney for the Heat’s first boundary. A wicket follows soon afterwards though, and it’s calamitous for the Heat. Mooney dabbed the ball into the covers and there was talk of a run but eventually she sends her partner back. Harris turns, slips mid-pitch, twists her already proppy knee and is unable to recover her ground in time. Early gift for the Sixers.
1st over: Brisbane Heat 2-0 (Harris 1, Mooney 1) Marizanna Kapp opens the bowling for the Sixers. She has the best economy rate in WBBL4 and enhances those figures by conceding just two runs in a tight opening over. Grace Harris And Beth Mooney both get off the mark for the Heat with squirty outside edges down to third.
The sides are back out on Drummoyne Oval for the Heat run chase.
Sydney Sixers 131-7
A below-par showing with the bat from the Sixers but that late blast from van Niekerk has given them something to defend. The Heat bowled superbly throughout but they may live to rue some sloppy fielding.
WICKET! Smith st Mooney b Harris 0 (Sydney Sixers 131-7)
20th over: Sydney Sixers 131-7 (van Niekerk 32) This has become the van Niekerk show late in the innings. After Kapp’s dismissal some good running earned two twos, four runs bookending a fine six over cow corner. A single hands Lauren Smith one delivery but the wily Harris drops it wide of off stump, Smith chases it, misses, and Mooney completes a very sharp stumping.
WICKET! Harris c Short b Kapp 7 (Sydney Sixers 120-6)
First ball of the final over and Kapp mistimes a drive off Grace Harris. Short holds on nicely on the ring at cover.
19th over: Sydney Sixers 120-5 (van Niekerk 21, Kapp 7) Kimmince has bowled superbly all day but her figures are muddied by van Niekerk finding the boundary with her final two deliveries. The first was a rank full toss that was helped on its way to the fine-leg fence, the second was a mighty six swung way over midwicket.
18th over: Sydney Sixers 107-5 (van Niekerk 10, Kapp 6) The first boundary in an age finally releases some pressure. Jonassen dropped short and van Niekerk was on it in a flash, pulling between the two boundary riders in front of square on the leg side. A poor over for the Heat ends in disastrous fashion. Kapp slog sweeps and Wolvaardt drops another sitter at mid-on.
WICKET! Burns c Mooney b Kimmince 12 (Sydney Sixers 97-5)
Woah! What a catch from Beth Mooney! Erin Burns telegraphed a reverse sweep allowing the Heat keeper chance to shift her starting position, meaning that when the fine glance was executed to what was an orthodox first slip position, Mooney was ready to dive and pouch a blinding catch. Kimmince has her second and the Sixers are crumbling.
17th over: Sydney Sixers 98-5 (van Niekerk 5, Kapp 1)
16th over: Sydney Sixers 94-4 (Burns 11, van Niekerk 3) Third over in a row without a boundary for the Sixers. Birkett concedes just five singles from her second over.
WICKET! McGlashan c Harris b Johnson 2 (Sydney Sixers 89-4)
It’s all unravelling now for the Sixers. McGlashan the latest to go, failing to clear mid-on with her lofted drive. That gives Johnson a wicket with the final delivery of her spell. She ends with 1/22. Earlier in the over there were panic stations at Drummoyne Oval. Some shocking Sixers calling should have ended in a run out but the Heat made a mess in the field with both ends open to dismissals.
15th over: Sydney Sixers 89-4 (Burns 9)
14th over: Sydney Sixers 86-3 (Burns 7, McGlashan 1) The Sixers have been dealing largely in singles throughout their innings and whenever one of their batters has looked to accelerate it’s soon brought about their downfall. Three starts but no big individual knock for the favourites, and the Heat will be very happy indeed right now.
WICKET! Perry c Mooney b Jonassen 33 (Sydney Sixers 83-3)
Massive moment in the match with Jonassen returning to the attack and snaring the vital wicket of Perry. Eager to accelerate Perry went the slog sweep but could only find a top edge that looped high in the air and safely into Beth Mooney’s gloves. Advantage Heat once again.
13th over: Sydney Sixers 81-2 (Perry 32, Burns 4) Barsby continues her excellent spell but a well-crafted over is disturbed by Erin Burns sweeping powerfully for four from the final delivery.
12th over: Sydney Sixers 72-2 (Perry 28, Burns 0) Grace Harris continues to get away with some indifferent bowling. Lines and lengths have been far from consistent with a liberal smattering of full tosses but she has figures of 1/12 from three overs, including the vital wicket of Gardner.
WICKET! Gardner c Kimmince b Harris 23 (Sydney Sixers 69-2)
Gardner has been looking for the big hit for a few overs now and when she finally connects she dumps it straight into the safe hands of Kimmince on the cow corner boundary.
11th over: Sydney Sixers 67-1 (Perry 24, Gardner 22) Jemma Barsby is the latest Heat bowler to be invited to the crease and she lands her right-arm offies from over the wicket beautifully. Four dots precede a HUGE CHANCE but Laura Harris drops a sitter at long-off after Perry bit off more than she could chew How big a moment will that prove to be?
10th over: Sydney Sixers 61-1 (Perry 21, Gardner 19) Harris gets a second over and it goes for only five despite the Heat spinner not hitting her marks. With the platform laid, Gardner is looking to accelerate but she isn’t timing everything she leans into.
9th over: Sydney Sixers 56-1 (Perry 18, Gardner 17) Johnson back into the attack for her second spell but she returns to find a blossoming partnership. 16 balls without a dot now for the Heat and 11 from an over that sees both Sixers batters busy at the crease, working the gaps, running hard, and ending with Gardner slapping a lofted drive to the cow corner boundary.
8th over: Sydney Sixers 45-1 (Perry 16, Gardner 9) Haidee Birkett’s turn for a bowl but it’s not the most auspicious of starts. Attempting to bowl off-pace stump-to-stump Birkett’s line drifts onto Perry’s pads with four the inevitable result, before width outside off results in a couple. Around that there are four singles to keep the Sixers moving.
7th over: Sydney Sixers 35-1 (Perry 8, Gardner 7) A rare boundary from the Sixers and a reminder of the importance of length on this surface. Kimmince overpitches and Gardner climbs into a drive that soars over cover for four. The rest of the over is comprised mainly of scoreboard moving singles.
6th over: Sydney Sixers 28-1 (Perry 7, Gardner 1) Time for Grace Harris, bowling her offies in a baseball cap and shades. She gets away with three full tosses and a long hop in a fortunate over that goes for just two. Perry and Gardner are both lacking timing, and both have unerringly found the ring. Heat well on top early on here at the end of the powerplay.
5th over: Sydney Sixers 26-1 (Perry 6, Gardner 0) Fantastic over from Kimmince. After removing the dangerous Healy her wobble away from the right-handers befuddles Ashleigh Gardner who is unable to do much with four length deliveries outside her off stump.
WICKET! Healy b Kimmince 18 (Sydney Sixers 26-1)
Delissa Kimmince into the attack and she strikes immediately - and it’s a beauty! Perfect line and length from the seamer, a touch of movement away from the right-hander and into the top of off, ending Healy’s brief stay at the crease. Huge early breakthrough for the Heat.
4th over: Sydney Sixers 25-0 (Healy 18, Perry 5) Jonassen continues, successfully angling the ball into the two right-handers from around the wicket for four deliveries but Healy can’t be shackled indefinitely, a sashay down the pitch and out to leg gives her room to free her arms and she deposits a length delivery into the sight-screen. That’s followed up by rocking back and pulling forcefully for three. The Sixers up and running.
3rd over: Sydney Sixers 12-0 (Healy 7, Perry 3) Length is going to be crucial today. Anything full is in the slot to drive, anything short can be pulled confidently. The Heat have hit their marks superbly so far though, Johnson on the short side of a good length, mixing her pace and finding enough movement to deny the Sixers any rhythm.
2nd over: Sydney Sixers 9-0 (Healy 7, Perry 1) Jess Jonassen shares the new ball for the Heat and her left-arm orthodox from around the wicket does a superb job. Five dot balls and single are all the Sixers can muster, both batters cramped for room and unable to pierce the well-placed field.
1st over: Sydney Sixers 8-0 (Healy 7, Perry 0) Sammy-Jo Johnson has the unenviable task of bowling to Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy to begin this WBBL final. She starts well enough, finding a bit of shape away from the right-handers with her right-arm medium-fast but this is a hard flat track allowing Healy to hit confidently through the line, which she does for a lofted four over the covers.
We’re underway in the WBBL final in Sydney!
The players are making their way out onto Drummoyne Oval, Heat in the field, Healy and Perry into bat.
The Sixers are more than just Ellyse Perry. Teammate and international superstar Alyssa Healy has plenty of grand final pedigree.
Ellyse Perry has been the dominant force in WBBL this season, and as Lisa Sthalekar writes it’s the final feather in the all-rounder’s cap.
Few cricketers have been able to master all formats, yet remarkably since her return from Australia’s successful Women’s World T20 in the West Indies last year, Perry has managed to take her T20 game to another level and delivered the most dominant individual season in Women’s Big Bash League history.
Umpires today are David Shepard and Donovan Koch with Claire Polosak keeping an eye on events on TV.
These sides have met twice already this season for one win apiece. Curiously, Heat registered near identical scores on both occasions - 154/7 & 155/7.
Heat’s victory came courtesy of two exceptional all-round displays from Jess Jonassen and Sammy-Jo Johnson. The Sixers’ triumph included an unbeaten ton to Ellyse Perry.
There are plenty of stories circulating of fans missing out on tickets for today’s match, unaware there was the risk of a sell-out.
This wasn’t bad either. Haidee Brikett winning the match for the Heat when a six would have seen Sydney Thunder into the decider and a four would have taken the game to a super over.
20 minutes to go until we’re underway. Time to recap the final moments of each semi-final. Seriously, this was just absurd.
Brisbane Heat XI
The underdogs Brisbane Heat are also unchanged. They finished third on the regular season ladder with nine wins, but by far the best net run rate in the competition.
Sydney Sixers XI
The Sixers are unchanged. After topping the ladder with ten wins from 14 matches the magenta machine will start strong favourites.
Sixers win the toss and will bat first
We’ll get an early look at that fearsome Sixers top order on a deck that looks full of runs.
If we get a final half as good as either of the semis we’re in for a treat. As Megan Maurice reported, “women’s cricket is producing some of the most exciting and entertaining sporting contests in the world right now.”
It’s a beautiful clear hot day in Sydney, perfect for cricket-watching (with a bit of slip slop slap).
Watching the crowds flock to Drummoyne Oval is testament to the quality of this year’s WBBL and the ability of Australia’s WT20 World Cup winning stars to force their way into the sporting mainstream.
Good morning and thank you for joining me for live OBO coverage of the Women’s Big Bash League final between Sydney Sixers and Brisbane Heat.
The picturesque Drummoyne Oval in the middle of Sydney is a 5,000 sell-out for the occasion, a fitting backdrop to the conclusion of what has been a superb tournament. Play begins at 10.10am.