The Melbourne Stars pushed the Sydney Sixers all the way at Case Fields but ultimately did not put enough runs on the board to force the win as a clam innings form Ellyse Perry saw her side home to a five-wicket win with two overs to spare.
It wasn’t an ideal start for the Stars as Katie Mack was bowled in the second over by Kim Garth. She was soon followed by Lizelle Lee who got a leading edge from the bowling of Marizanne Kapp which went to the third man and was caught by Angela Reakes.
Lee was followed by her South African international Mignon du Preez soon after to leave the Stars in trouble on 15 for 3. It is the final game for four of the players in the game as Lee, du Preez, Kapp and Dane van Niekerk who all go back to South Africa for an international series with India.
The Stars were soon to be in even bigger bother when Georgia Elwiss looking to play Sarah Aley through the leg side gets the leading edge and is caught in the covers by Sarah McGlashan.
Erin Osborne and Anna Lanning were tasked with rebuilding the Stars innings and together put on 41 for the fifth wicket before Lanning was wonderfully caught by Erin Burns who coming in from long-on took the catch low in front of her.
Alana King and Annabel Sutherland gave the Stars some impetus at the end of the innings to get the stars up to 106 for 7 from their twenty overs. It looked about 15 runs short of a par score and so it proved to be, but the Stars weren’t going down without a fight.
With net run-rate important with teams vying for the top four places, the Sixers rejigged their batting order as Reakes opened with Alyssa Healy.
The Stars turned to the experience of Osborne who after being hit for four bowled the batter with her next delivery.
Sutherland who has been so impressive despite only being sixteen again looked dangerous and got the leading edge of the powerful Ashleigh Gardner to leave the Sixers 24 for 2. Healy went ten runs later for 21 from 16 balls.
The Sixers looked to be throwing away a good position, Perry was now in and she rarely lets the situation get to her and judged her innings well. When Burns and McGlashan fell the run-rate was creeping up to around a run a ball.
The Stars just couldn’t create the extra pressure when they bowled a few loose balls to allow the Sixers to keep things simple and wait for the bad ball.
It was an important win for the Sixers as they moved to sixteen points and the top spot.
Melbourne Stars v Sydney Sixers
Melbourne Stars 106 for 7 (Osborne 39, Kapp 2 for 13)
Sydney Sixers 107 for 5 (Perry 39*, Sutherland 1 for 13)