Ellyse Perry in action. ©ICC

After a half century in her last game, defending champions Sydney Sixers skipper Ellyse Perry smashed a century against Perth Scorchers to take her side home in a tricky chase which saw both teams fighting to win till the 37 overs in the game.

Winning the toss, Scorchers skipper Elyse Villani elected to bat first with regular skipper Meg Lanning being ruled out of the XI owing to a back niggle. Villani who led Scorchers to the finals of the last WBBL opened the innings with the returning Amy Jones who didn’t feature in their last game. Jones started off with a flurry of boundaries and hit Cheatle for a six over long on in the fourth over. Both the openers started of really well finding boundaries at ease. After Dane van Niekerk dropped Villani on 18 off Gardner, the Scorchers skipper alongside her partner helped them reach 57 in the powerplay without losing a wicket.

Sixers got their first breakthrough when Aley got Villani as Kapp cut an easy catch at third man. Wicket-keeper Jones continued her exceptional innings scoring the fastest half century for Scorchers off 26 balls before van Niekerk cleaned her stumps on 57. Graham couldn’t score big as McGlashan who appeared in her 50th WBBL game hit the stumps directly to send her to the pavilion for 3. Kate Cross, who was promoted up the order, started to clear the boundaries and eventually got dismissed on 20 off 10. Nicole Bolton, who came in at No. 3, held a side of the innings scoring 40 off 33. Scorchers put up 167 on the board with van Niekerk bagging 3 wickets for 32 in her four overs.

Chasing 168, Sixers didn’t get the best of starts as the in-form Alyssa Healy lost her wicket to Nicole Bolton after trying to come down the crease and the ball ripping past her stumps. Ash Gardner joined her captain to the crease as the two put up a partnership of 80 runs. Perry with the help of Gardner didn’t stop and Sixers scored 49 in the powerplay. Immediately after the halfway mark, the Sixers started losing their way with Graham bagging the wickets of Gardner and Burns of successive balls.

Sara McGlashan couldn’t give a good support to her skipper with Jones taking a good catch as Peschel removed the Kiwi for 3. South Africa skipper Dane van Niekerk joined Ellyse Perry to take their side home putting up a partnership of 70 runs with both the Internationals bringing it in 41 balls. Perry brought up her century of 59 balls of the last ball of the chase with a four straight down the ground.

Sixers beat Scorchers by 6 wickets to open their account in this year’s WBBL. Scorchers now face Heat while Sixers have a Sydney derby with Thunder at the North Sydney Oval tomorrow.