12 months ago, when these two sides met in their opening game of WBBL03 it was Sydney Sixers who got off to a blistering start. It looked like they were going to do that in Melbourne today as World T20 winners Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy shared a first wicket partnership of 108.
It was going to take a huge turn around by Melbourne Stars. The efforts of a debutant for the Stars and a returning international star to bring up the first surprise result of WBBL|04. Lizelle Lee with an unbeaten hundred that saw the Stars home.
Healy was the player of the World T20 but it was Perry who started the stronger today. Perry was down to bat at 7 during that competition. Her return to the top of the order didn’t disappoint. Perry looked in good touch as she reached her fifty from 32 balls.
It was more of a struggle early on for Healy who was dropped twice in her innings of 70 from 47 balls.
Melbourne Stars had Nicola Hancock to thank for dragging them back into the games as she took 4 for 22 on her Stars debut. She saw off Perry in her first over who could only play onto her stumps. It was new girl Holly Ferling who accounted for the dangerous Ashleigh Gardner in the following over for a duck.
The game started to swing the Stars way as Hancock took two wickets in two balls to leave the Sixers 156 for 6.
Lizelle Lee had a quiet World T20. She put that to behind her and rediscovered her Kia Super League form as she scored 102 From 56 balls. The Sixers bowled too short to her in the powerplay and Lee made them pay. Her hundred took just 55 balls.
When Katie Mack and Erin Osborne fell in quick succession, the Sixers would have felt they had a chance. One more wicket and the reassurance of runs in the bank should have told. The Stars had never chased such a score successfully before. It was to be the Stars day as Lee powered her way through.
Lee was ably supported by her South African international teammate Mignon du Preez as the pair added 76 for the fourth wicket to give the Stars their first win of WBBL|04.
There is no doubting the Sixers will come back from this defeat. For the Stars, it will give them the confidence to put a run of form together that didn’t happen this time last year.