Perry, Brown take Sydney Sixers over the line in a thriller

Kalyani Mangale
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Ellyse Perry in action. ©Getty Images

Ellyse Perry and Sydney Sixers kicked off the eighth season of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) with a thrilling win over Brisbane Heat on Thursday (October 13). Half-centuries from Perry and  Erin Burns, along with a three-wicket haul from Maitlan Brown took them over the line with just one ball left. 

Playing at the Great Barrier Reef Arena in Mackay, two-time champions Sydney Sixers won the toss against Brisbane Heat and opted to bowl first. Heat lost their power-heating opener, Grace Harris, in the second over of the day. Nicole Bolton took a great catch in the slip to give Perry her first wicket. Teenage sensation Georgia Voll paired with wicketkeeper Georgia Redmayne to take Heat to 17 runs in the rearranged powerplay of four overs.

Voll welcomed England international Sophie Ecclestone with a boundary, and Redmayne followed it with one more four. The pair added 60 runs for the second wicket before Lauren Cheatle dismissed Redmayne one short of her half-century. Voll batted till the 16th over to score 32 runs, and another teenager, Angelina Genford, sent her packing for 32 with four overs left in the over. The experienced duo of Amelia Kerr and Jess Jonassen tried to hit boundaries in the death overs but only found fielders. 

Charli Knott played a handy knock in the death overs and scored 21 runs off nine balls, including four boundaries, to take Brisbane Heat to 141 for eight in the first innings. Brown took three wickets to stop the late surge from Heat, while Perry chipped in with two wickets. 

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Sydney Sixers’ chase started on shaky grounds as they lost Alyssa Healy for a duck in the very first over. Perry joined the overseas international Suzie Bates and took on the bowling attack with a boundary in the next over. Bates and Australian international Ashleigh Gardner got out cheaply to leave the Sixers at 26 for three at the end of the fifth over. Perry found a reliable partner in Burns, who was playing in the WBBL for the first time since the sixth season. 

Perry smashed three back-to-back boundaries in Courtney Sippel’s first over to give the Sixers a headstart in the middle over. Burns smashed a full toss offered by Amelia Kerr for the first six of the Sixers’ innings. Perry marked the beginning of the new season with a half-century off 43 balls, and Burns followed her captain with a fifty of her own off 35 balls. Heat’s captain Jess Jonassen finally broke the dangerous partnership of 93 runs with the wicket of Burns. She dismissed her counterpart in the same over, with Laura Harris taking a simple catch at mid-wicket. 

Sixers needed eight runs from the final over, and Voll added a twist to the tale with a wicket of Ecclestone, but Brown clobbered the penultimate ball of the innings for a massive six over long-on to seal the victory for the Sixers. 

Brief Scores: Brisbane Heat 141/8 in 20 overs (Georgia Redmayne 49; Maitlan Brown 3/20) lost to Sydney Sixers 143/6 in 19.5 overs (Ellyse Perry 55, Erin Burns 50; Jess Kerr 2/17) by four wickets