The Sydney Sixers have snatched the Women’s Big Bash League title in dramatic fashion, beating the Perth Scorchers by seven runs in oppressive heat at the WACA ground on Saturday.
Defending 124, the Sixers strangled the Scorchers, containing them to 7/117.
It crowned the Sixers as clearly the best team in the WBBL after the opening two seasons, having made the final last season before losing to rivals the Thunder in another last over thriller.
The Sixers’ title triumph is all the more impressive given that captain and champion all-rounder Ellyse Perry missed the finals series with a hamstring injury.
The result went down to the wire, with 20-year-old off-spinner Lauren Smith delivering a nerveless final over as part of a strong bowling performance.
However experience shone through, with veteran seamer Sarah Aley claiming 4/23 to confirm her standing as the leading wicket-taker in the WBBL this season with 28 at an average of 11.75.
Her best figures of the season in the biggest game of the tournament won her the Player of the Match award.
Stand-in captain Alyssa Healy played in typically bold fashion to set up a seemingly modest total which in the end proved just enough.
She pulled the first ball of the match over a leaping Lauren Ebsary at mid-on, who got her right finger tips to the ball, restricting the shot to two runs.
The next ball Healy cover drove sweetly to the boundary.
Coming off sparkling half-centuries in her previous two matches, Healy continued her impressive form.
She cantered to 40 from 27 balls but charged and skied a full, wide delivery attempting to lift the run rate.
It proved to be the highest score of the match as the Scorchers succumbed to the Sixers’ pressure.
Ash Gardner (21 from 31 balls), struggled to reproduce the dominant stroke play which made her such a force during the tournament and was later forced from the field because of the heat.
Marizanne Kapp followed an excellent Semi Final batting cameo with an unbeaten 34 from 28 balls and could have made an instant impact with the ball.
Bowling the opening over of the Scorchers’ innings to Nicole Bolton, Kapp was surprised by a mistimed a drive which came comfortably back and was dropped.
Botlon went on to score a run a ball 34 before being caught off a leading edge.
Her dismissal kept the pressure on the Scorchers, who slipped to 3-79 from 12.5 overs and continued to fall further behind the run rate.