It was always going to be difficult to top the semi-finals of last week. The WBBL never fails to surprise. At the Drummoyne Oval last week, both teams took it down to the wire in their games; today was just a dramatic as when one side had a hand on the trophy the other side fought back.
Played out in front of a sell-out crowd of 5368, they left having seen a classic finish saw Brisbane Heat became outside of Sydney to win the WBBL. The heat won by three wickets with four balls to spare. Laura Harris found the gap between two colliding fielders on the boundary.
The Sixers showed the quality they possess throughout their side continuously pegging back the Heat when the Brisbane side looked on top. The Heat had beaten the Sixers by 66 runs during the group stages. Again today they did not fear their opponents taking the game to them at every opportunity.
A match-winning knock by Beth Mooney ensured her side went into the closing overs with the run-rate under control. Mooney scored 65 from 46 balls as along with Kirby Short her captain the Heat recovered from the loss of their two big hitting batters Grace Harris and Sammy-Jo Johnson. Earlier in the game, Mooney took two outstanding catches to remove Ellyse Perry and Erin Burns.
Short and Mooney added 84 for the third wicket. Mooney looked to be battling the heat just as much as the Sixers were facing the Brisbane Heat. Short was taking the quick singles to compound the struggle for both Mooney and the Sixers.
Mooney who usually looks so cool was physically struggling but it did not affect her composure with the bat. She became the first player to score a fifty in a WBBL final and did so in just 35 balls.
Short and Mooney, however, both lost their wickets in the fifteenth over to the excellent Dane van Niekerk who on another day would have been the player of the match.
The Sixers put the pressure on the Heat as they took 5 Heat wickets in 29 balls to bring themselves back into the game. Marizanne Kapp bowled the last over with five runs still needed it for the Heat. Laura Harris hit the winning runs with a four through mid-wicket evading the two diving fielders on the rope.
In the Sixers innings, Alyssa Healy was just getting into the swing of things when Delissa Kimmince bowled her. It was a ball that swung away enough to defeat the defence of the Sixers keeper.
The Heat bowled in areas that the Sixers found difficult to get away and with bowlers that can change up the pace the Sixers looked to be on for a below-par total. It was a late blast by van Niekerk with 32 not out from 15 balls that propelled the Sixers to 7 for 131.
In previous finals that would have been more than enough. WBBL|04 though has shown that no total is safe, and the Heat proved just so.
Player of the Final – Beth Mooney
Player of the Tournament – Ellyse Perry