The match in a tweet: SIXERS WIN! It took a Super Over to split the Sixers and Renegades but a Perry six sends her team to the WBBL final!
The Score: Sydney Sixers 4-131 (Perry 54*, van Niekerk 51*; Tahuhu 1-18) tied with Melbourne Renegades 6-131 (Molineux 55, Duffin 41; Burns 2-13) in the second WBBL semi-final at Drummoyne Oval
The Super Over: Renegades 1-6 (Wyatt 2, Molineux 2; Kapp 0-6) defeated by Sixers 1-9 (Healy 2, Perry 7; Strano 0-9)
The Big Moment: Three to win, one ball remaining. Sophie Molineux on strike, Ellyse Perry with the ball. Molineux’s shot seemed destined for the boundary, only to be cut off by a diving Erin Burns, before Molineux was run out thanks to a direct hit from ‘keeper Alyssa Healy attempting a third run, leaving scores tied and sending the semi-final to a Super Over!
The Hero: Ellyse Perry, what a superstar. The Sixers skipper was determined to do it all to drag her team into a fourth consecutive WBBL final, be it with the bat, the ball or in the field. She was forced to work hard for her runs but scored a crucial half-century, working her way to 54no from 59 and sharing a 98-run stand with import Dane van Niekerk, but it seemed easier work with the ball when she bowled Emma Inglis with a superb ball in the third over of the Renegades’ chase. She finished with figures of 1-20 from her four overs, took an excellent running catch to dismiss the dangerous Jess Duffin, before her Super Over six to seal a spot in the final was the icing on the cake.
The Consolation Act: Australia allrounder and Renegades opener Sophie Molineux (55 from 54) made a quiet start with the bat, but she worked her way into her innings brilliantly to take the chase into the final over. Just days after her 21st birthday, Molineux shared a 60-run stand with teammate Jess Duffin to help the Renegades recover after they stumbled to 3-19 during the power play. She reached her half-century during the final over from 52 deliveries, and almost scored the winning runs from the final ball only for a diving Erin Burns to cut off the near-boundary, before Molineux was run out attempting a third run as the game ended in a tie.
The Supporting Cast: The Sixers were in trouble at 4-33 after 8.2 overs before South Africa skipper van Niekerk joined captain Ellyse Perry at the crease. Gone were Alyssa Healy (1), Ashleigh Gardner (4), Erin Burns (1) and Sara McGlashan (7), while Perry had made a watchful start. Together, the pair put the Sixers firmly back into the match, putting on 98 runs from the remaining 70 deliveries to carry the Sixers to 4-131. Perry never quite got moving in terms of her strike rate, ending the innings on 54no from 59, but was able to simply anchor the innings thanks to the aggressive approach of van Niekerk, who hammered five fours and one six in a 36-ball 51no.
And they say ice runs through the veins of quick Marizanne Kapp and it was never truer than during her Super Over, where she brilliantly restricted the Renegades to 1-6.
The Run Machine: Ellyse Perry now has 744 runs from 15 innings in WBBL|04 at the incredible average of 93. That’s 188 runs more than her nearest rival, Strikers allrounder Sophie Devine, and 194 more than the previous record for most runs in a WBBL season – the 560 scored by Meg Lanning in WBBL|01.
The Next Stop: The Sixers will play for a third consecutive WBBL title, after making their fourth straight final! They’ll host the Brisbane Heat next Saturday, January 26.