Ellyse Perry has always been prime time and the star all-rounder was at her big time best for the Sydney Sixers on Wednesday.
But Perry may need a bit of batting help if she wants to lead her team in the first WWBL finals to be played at night after being upstaged by rival run-machine Beth Mooney, who went even better, notching an unbeaten 75 to give the Perth Scorchers to a much-needed win in Blacktown.
Confirmation the WBBL finals would be played under lights for the first time came as Perry, the Sixers captain, rescued her team from the perils of 2-16 and, in scoring an unbeaten 62, guided them to 4-137.
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But then the superstar got spanked with the ball, conceding 22 runs off her opening two overs as Perry’s run-scoring rival, and Australian teammate Mooney got her team one win closer to the top three, and the finals.
All three WBBL finals will be played at North Sydney Oval, under lights, with the knockout semi-finals on Wednesday November 25, and Thursday, November 26.
The final will then be played in prime time, on Saturday, November 28, with a 7:10pm start.
Knock of the match
Mooney had to watch on as Perry batted for the full 20 overs of the Sixers innings and took charge when her team was in trouble.
Down two wickets inside the first four overs, Perry showed her class, smashing nine fours in her score of 62, which was her 19th WBBL half-century.
Perry also passed Mooney as the all-time leading run-scorer in the WBBL. But Mooney was having none of it and was stoic as wickets fell around her late tyo get her team home in the final over, and take the lead back
Moment of the match
South African Marizanna Kapp was flying for the Sixers and with Perry was pushing her team to a big total.
Kapp had reached 33 off 31 balls, with five fours, and the Sixers were 2-92 before she had to retire herself.
The 30-year-old from Port Elizabeth, coming off 68 not out in the previous game, needed treatment for an elevated heart rate and doctors ruled her out of the match.
Kapp has a pre-existing heart condition and doctors didn’t want to take any risks.
Bowling spell of the match
Nicole Bolton is a lot better known for her run-scoring prowess than rolling the arm over, but she was given the job of opening the attack for the Scorchers and it proved a masterstroke.
Bolton, who has bowled in every match in the tournament but hadn’t aken a wicket since the opening game, snared the crucial wicket of Alyssa Healy in the first over.
While her three overs went for 19, she helped put the Sixers on the back foot, which is all you can ask of an opening bowler.
Heat finding form as Thunder falter
– Carly Adno
It was back to winning ways for the defending champions as Amelia Kerr spun the Brisbane Heat to a resounding eight-wicket victory over the Sydney Thunder under lights at Blacktown International Sportspark.
The win breaks the Heat’s two-match losing streak and gives them a shot at reaching the finals after a patchy start to the tournament.
Classy leg spinner Kerr claimed career-best WBBL bowling figures of 4-20, setting the platform for Georgia Redmayne to steer the Heat home with her sixth WBBL half-century.
Kerr, the 20-year-old New Zealand international, struck to dismiss the Thunder’s dangerous duo Heather Knight (25) and Rachael Haynes (1), trapping both lbw.
The Thunder had opted to bat first, but at the end of the 10th over they were in trouble at 4-48.
At times frantic between the wickets, the Thunder struggled to form any meaningful partnerships and Kerr was again superb when she had Phoebe Litchfield (9) stumped by Redmayne.
Rachel Trenaman (27) and Tahlia Wilson (11) added some vital runs at the back end of the innings, but Kerr returned to break their partnership by bowling Wilson.
Despite the low, slow pitch out at Blacktown, the Thunder would have been disappointed to end their innings on 9-111.
But they were boosted by the early wicket of Grace Harris (4), before skipper Haynes took a terrific catch to dismiss her opposite number Jess Jonassen for 10.
It could have been a tricky run chase from then on, but Redmayne controlled the innings beautifully. Her unbeaten knock of 59, with Georgia Voll 31 not out at the other end, guided the Heat to a crucial win inside their 20 overs.
It means Brisbane’s dream of a three-peat is alive.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
It was the Thunder’s first blow of their innings. Just as Heather Knight, their leading runscorer, was building up to add to her tally she was undone by the classy leg-spinning of Amelia Kerr. Knight couldn’t push on with her start of 25 as the Thunder fell to 9-111.
KNOCK OF THE MATCH
It could have been a far trickier run chase for the Brisbane Heat if Georgia Redmayne hadn’t made it look so easy. She played a controlled innings, hitting an unbeaten 59 – her sixth WBBL half-century – to steer the Heat home and keep their finals dreams alive.
BOWLING SPELL OF THE MATCH
The best of Amelia Kerr was on show at Blacktown International Sportspark. The classy Kiwi leg spinner spun out the Thunder’s dangerous duo of Heather Knight and Rachael Haynes, before getting Phoebe Litchfield stumped. The 20-year-old ended with excellent figures of 4-20 as the Thunder could only manage 9-111.