Sydney Sixers won their second straight title. Photo: Getty Images
Sydney Sixers stamped themselves as the undisputed powerhouse of the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) after convincingly defending their crown in a one-sided final against Perth Scorchers on Sunday (February 4).
In a rematch of last year's decider, the powerful Sixers brimming with a slew of superstars, thrashed the Scorchers by nine wickets at the Adelaide Oval. In three WBBL seasons, the back-to-back champions have made every final to ensure they are the cream of the competition.
The Scorchers had won both matches over the Sixers during the season but were completely overwhelmed in the decider. A ruthless Sixers' attack was brilliant with the ball and routed a strong Scorchers batting order for just 99. In reply, the Sixers easily reached the target in the 15th over with captain Ellyse Perry (36 not out) and superstar Ashleigh Gardner (unbeaten 22) leading the team to a championship triumph.
The Scorchers needed early wickets if they were any chance of conjuring a miraculous victory but they were blunted by blistering batting from superstars Perry and Alyssa Healy. In a major contrast to the Scorchers' scratchy batting, the Sixers openers smashed boundaries at will with Healy particularly imperious as the opening partnership briskly reached 50 in the ninth over.
The massive gulf between the teams was evident as Healy and Perry scored as many boundaries in the power play as the Scorchers managed in their entire lot of 20 overs. Healy laid the platform and bludgeoned a 32-ball 41 before she was stumped with victory in sight. Fittingly, Perry hit the winning runs and leaped in the air to celebrate, having missed last year's final.
Things had started well for the Scorchers after captain Elyse Villani won the toss and elected to bat on a flat pitch amid sweltering Adelaide conditions. However, it was a horror performance by the Scorchers' top order who lost 4 for 18 in 22 deliveries and never recovered.
Runs were hard to muster for the Scorchers against some accurate Sixers bowling led by Perry, with Villani cracking the first boundary only in the third over. The Scorchers were scoring at barely over three runs an over during the powerplay with Villani managing a pedestrian 12 from her first 24 deliveries.
Frustrated by being tied down, Villani skipped down the wicket to counterattack spinner Sarah Coyte (3-17) but was well stumped much to the glee of wicketkeeper Healy who clapped at the sprawled batter. The key wicket was reward for the stifling Sixers bowling, and danger batter Nicole Bolton followed soon after, trapped in front by Kim Garth as the Scorchers slumped to 26 for 2 in the eighth over.
Keen to continue the Sixers' ascendancy, Perry brought herself back into the attack and immediately claimed the wicket of Natalie Sciver, who nicked a wide delivery as the Scorchers spiralled to 29 for 3. Dashing batter Megan Banting hoped to counterattack in a desperate bid to get her team back into the contest but fell for just 5 as the Scorchers' vaunted top-order spectacularly imploded.
It was up to Heather Graham and Thamsyn Newton to rebuild the innings as the pair nudged the ball around, but Newton fell to Coyte just when the partnership was blossoming. Coyte's brilliant performance continued when she cleanbowled Graham with a beauty as the Scorchers fell to an eyesore of 66 for 6 after 15 overs.
The Scorchers' tail mustered some late runs but a run-out of Emily Smith on the final ball in a bid for the team to notch triple figures summed up their embarrassing effort.
For the second consecutive year, the Scorchers had to endure the sight of the scintillating Sixers celebrating WBBL glory.
Brief Scores: Perth Scorchers 99 in 20 overs (Sarah Coyte 3-17, Erin Burns 2-26) lost to Sydney Sixers 100/1 in 15 overs (Alyssa Healy 41, Ellyse Perry 36*) by nine wickets