Sydney Thunder’s tight bowling has dampened hometown rivals Sydney Sixers’ Weber WBBL|07 finals hopes, as Smriti Mandhana’s unbeaten 45 led them to a comprehensive six-wicket victory with 18 balls to spare.
Efficient Thunder bowling by captain Hannah Darlington (2-15) and Issy Wong (2-27) restricted the Sixers to 6-94 and paved the way to their third win of WBBL|07.
Despite Ellyse Perry’s hard-fought 40 runs off 40 deliveries and Lauren Cheatle’s 3-15, it was not enough to take a much-needed win in the Sixers’ hunt to return to the top four.
The Sixers elected to bat first, with Shafali Verma promoted to open with Alyssa Healy after Saturday’s batting collapse against the Heat. The experiment failed early, with Indian teammate Deepti Sharma removing Verma (8) in the fifth over.
Healy was next to go (7), caught off a Wong fast ball. Wong then clean bowled Ashleigh Gardner with the next ball, as the Australia allrounder recorded her third consecutive duck.
The Sixers were unable to rectify their poor start, losing 3-22 at the end of the powerplay.
Perry and Nicole Bolton (19 off 29) settled down for the Sixers, combining for a 39-run partnership, but Bolton’s consistency was halted when Thunder captain Darlington dismissed her in the 15th over.
Angela Reakes wasted no time adding scoreboard pressure, but fell short, caught off Darlington for just 16, and Maitlan Brown was stumped for a duck.
Economical bowling led by Darlington (2-15) and Wong (2-27) reduced the Sixers to 6-94, three runs better than their total against the Heat on Saturday night.
Perry was the Sixers’ shining light, notching up 40 off 40, including three boundaries.
Cheatle backed up her 3-16 against the Heat on Saturday, taking an impressive 3-15, but poor fielding cost her side.
Mandhana’s six boundaries were instrumental for the Thunder, as they cruised to victory with three overs remaining.
The Sixers, whose slim finals hopes now rest on other results, face Adelaide Strikers next Saturday, while the Thunder face Brisbane Heat the day before.