Despite the loss to the Brisbane Heat, a strong opening partnership between Alyssa Healy and captain Ellyse Perry was a positive sign for the rest of the season.
The pair notched up a 74-run opening stand as Healy started cautiously before exploding in the third over, smacking huge sixes into the crowd.
Earlier on, the Heat thought they had the Sixers' keeper sent on her way back to the pavilion, after Healy was caught off the bowling of Holly Ferling.
However, Ferling was ruled to have overstepped the crease, which kept Healy’s innings alive after also being dropped in the first over.
The powerful opener made the Heat pay with some lovely batting strokes that typified her class and power.
While Healy was smashing boundaries to all parts of the ground, Perry played a fantastic role at the other end, rotating the strike regularly while also unleashing some cracking shots of her own which ran away to the fence.
The pair brought up their 50-run partnership in 39 balls, but didn’t let their foot off the pedal.
Healy continued to find the boundary, striking the third six of her innings soon after.
Despite looking on track for a big score, Healy was unlucky to not reach 50 after she knocked a ball back into the hands of Birkett in the tenth over.
The 74-run partnership between the two openers set a great foundation for the rest of the Sixers’ innings.
Perry went on to score a run-a-ball 42, typified by some classy boundaries from the all-rounder to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Healy felt the partnership was invaluable for the team given the difficult nature of the North Sydney Oval pitch.
“It was nice to get a good start on the board. We set a good platform for the team; it’s obviously how we’d like to start every game," said Healy after the narrow loss.
“It was good to get on the front foot early, but unfortunate to lose the match in the end. It was a bit of a tricky wicket, a bit two-paced.”
Although the duo are some of the most dynamic batters in the WBBL, Healy says she and Ellyse have different roles when it comes to opening the batting.
“I think Pez’s role would probably be to bat as long as she can, as deep into the innings as possible.
“It’s my role to take the game forward and probably take a few risks. So sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t.”
Despite her 42-ball knock of 48, Healy said she didn’t feel she hit top gear out in the middle.
“A few came out of the middle which was nice. If we get starts like that every game, then our really powerful middle order will give us a higher total.”
The Sixers will get their chance for redemption tomorrow, as they face-off against the Heat again, this time at Drummoyne Oval.
“We’ll learn a few lessons from today. It’s nice that we’re able to back up and have another crack at them straight away. I think it will be a good game again tomorrow.”
Game 2: Sydney Sixers v Brisbane Heat Monday 12 December 6:00pm Drummoyne Oval (Live on cricket.com.au)