Following two nerve-racking semi-finals, where the Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers triumphed, the two sides now clash in the finals of WBBL04. Will the Sixers complete their hat-trick of titles or, will the Heat take out their maiden one, in front of a packed stadium at Drummoyne Oval?
The Sixers have reached the final of every edition of the tournament thus far, only losing out to the Sydney Thunder in the inaugural one. Since then, they have dominated; a trend they continued this season too, finishing at the top of the table. Heat however, are playing in their first WBBL final.
Players to Watch Out For
Ellyse Perry (Sixers)
This selection comes as no surprise. But is hard to look past someone who has been in as scintillating form as Perry has in this edition of the tournament. After not being named in the commentators team-of-the-tournament last year around, it seems like Perry came back with a vengeance to prove them.
After breaching the 700-run barrier this season- being the first player to do so, Perry also went on to become the first player to reach 2,000 runs in the history of BBL cricket. On her way there, she has scored two centuries and a whopping eight half-centuries!
While she has been their standout performer, Alyssa Healy, Erin Burns and Marizanne Kapp, among others, have made invaluable contributions.
Sammy-Jo Johnson (Heat)
This has truly been a breakout season for Johnson with both bat and ball. Her promotion up the order has given her the freedom of playing her natural game; that is hammering the ball out of the park. She is X-factor the Heat needed in their top-order to take them further in the tournament, and she has delivered.
Johnson also opens the bowling, and apart from being economical, she takes key wickets at the top of the order. She will be a true threat to the Sixers in the final.
Group Stage Stories
The Sixers have been a bit inconsistent in the tournament, registering two scores below 100 when the top-order hasn’t fired. One of these scores was against the Heat in the group stages. The Heat won that match by 66 runs, after bowling out the Sixers for 88.
So, while the Heat are content to claim the ‘underdog’ status, the two teams actually come into the finals on equal footing. During the group stages, both teams have won one of the two matches, while coincidentally, both teams also have two centurions each, of the tournaments five.
Who Said What
“They have played a consistent blueprint of cricket and that’s to take the play on with the players at the top of the order. Even players down a bit lower and even with the field and their bowling, they’re a serious team … It’s a fitting final.”– Sixers skipper Ellyse Perry.
“It’s exciting. I think it’s important we remember as a squad that it is always going to be nerves game day. The opportunity that we have tomorrow is genuinely exciting.”– Heat skipper Kirby Short
Sixers: Ellyse Perry (c), Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner, Erin Burns, Sara McGlashan, Dane van Niekerk, Marizanne Kapp, Lauren Smith, Sarah Aley, Lauren Cheatle, Hayley Silver-Holmes
Heat: Beth Mooney, Grace Harris, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Kirby Short (c), Jess Jonassen, Laura Harris, Delissa Kimmince, Laura Wolvaardt, Haidee Birkett, Josie Dooley, Jemma Barsby