Alyssa Healy, Marizanne Kapp shine in Sydney Sixers’ win over Adelaide Strikers

Ellyse Perry (left) and Alyssa Healy (right) © Getty Images

On a day in which rain dominated proceedings, washing out three matches, and severely shortening the fourth, Ellyse Perry marked her return to cricket by leading her beloved Sydney Sixers to a nine-wicket wicket win over Adelaide Strikers in round two of the Women’s Big Bash League at the North Sydney Oval on Monday (October 26).

With Sixers chasing 69 for victory in a rain-reduced nine over match, Alyssa Healy crunched the first delivery for an imperious boundary between mid-wicket and mid-on. But the wily Megan Schutt fought back, controlling the flow of runs, forcing the required rate to climb.

With the game in the balance – Sixers 13 for no loss in 3 overs – leg-spinner Amanda Wellington was brought into the attack. It was the over that would break the game open with both Perry and Healy finding the boundary within the first four deliveries. As the pair scampered two off the penultimate ball of the fourth over, the rain began to pelt down with the Sixers well in front, on 30 for no loss, when the players were forced to leave the field.

For a while it seemed as though the Sixers may be robbed of a well-deserved win, but after another short stoppage, the two-time champions returned to the centre with a revised total in front of them – a further 16 to win in 13 balls. Healy struck a flurry of boundaries, including a superbly executed scoop shot, to reduce the equation to five runs off eight balls before she was dismissed by Sarah Coyte for 27 off just 16 balls.

With five needed off the final over bowled by Tahlia McGrath, Perry – who had until then nudged and nurdled her way to 10 off 15 balls – held her nerve, to get her side over the line with two balls to spare. The allrounder struck a powerful boundary off her legs to finish unbeaten on 14 off 16 deliveries, sealing Sixers’ first win of the season.

Earlier, having won the toss and chosen to field in gloomy conditions Marizanne Kapp got the Sixers off to a terrific start, removing the dangerous McGrath off the third ball of the innings. The right-hander was spectacularly caught at backward point by Jodie Hicks who went flying to her left and plucked the ball out of thin air. McGrath’s opening partner, Laura Wolvaardt, fresh off a fluent half-century, failed to make the most of her form, falling for three to give Stella Campbell her first wicket.

At 8 for 2 in 3 overs, it seemed the Strikers were stuck in a hole. Young Madeline Penna, who was elevated to the top of the order, struggled to put bat to ball, playing out 14 dot balls. Her innings came to an end when she was dismissed by Lisa Griffith for 7 off 18 balls. Allrounder Wellington fell off the very next delivery and Strikers had plummeted to 14 for 14 in jus 4.2 overs.

With the side in blue staring down the barrel, the experienced pair of Bridget Patterson and Katie Mack joined hands. The former took the attack to the Sixers, advancing down the track in an attempt to put the bowlers off their length. She started by clobbering a delivery from Dane van Niekerk over long on before tonking 14 runs off Campbell’s second over. The pair added 42 runs in just 3.3 overs to give the Strikers some momentum.

A cameo from Coyte – 10 off five deliveries – in the last over, saw Strikers finish with 68 for 7 in their nine over. Patterson top-scored with 28 off just 14 deliveries, while Mack chipped in with 13 off 10.

For the Sixers, Kapp was their most successful bowler, with figures of 3 for 14, while Griffith took 2 for 10.

Brief Scores: Adelaide Strikers 68 for 7 in 9 overs (Bridget Patterson 28; Marizanne Kapp 3-14, Lisa Griffith 2-10) lost to Sydney Sixers 47/1 in 5.4 overs (Alyssa Healy 27) by nine wickets. PoM: Alyssa Healy.

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