Sydney Sixers 138/5 beat Adelaide Strikers 121/9 by 17 runs.
Cricket Australia scorecard
Sophie Devine was a WBBL player before the WBBL existed, or anyone had imagined the type of cricket being played in WBBL03. Since the tournament’s inception, Devine has led the way in six hitting, both in terms of the total number of sixes and the rate at which they are hit, but for the first time she’ll finish a WBBL season without clearing the boundary rope most often.
Ashleigh Gardner’s six sixes vs the Strikers today rocketed her past Devine (and Lizelle Lee) to a new record total of twenty sixes for the season.
While the rate at which Devine hits sixes has been largely consistent throughout her WBBL career, Gardner has significantly improved with each passing season, and in WBBL03 she’s currently clearing the rope at an unprecedented rate of once every two overs.
Balls faced per six (3+ sixes hit) :
WBBL01 (season ave 121.6)
18.1 SFM Devine (Strikers)
19.0 NE Stalenberg (Thunder)
23.4 GM Harris (Heat)
29.4 SJ McGlashan (Sixers)
54.6 MM Lanning (Stars)
55.0 A Gardner (Sixers)
WBBL02 (season ave 80.1)
15.4 SFM Devine (Strikers)
20.4 KH Brunt (Scorchers)
23.0 H Kaur (Thunder)
26.0 GM Harris (Renegades)
27.7 A Gardner (Sixers)
43.0 AJ Healy (Sixers)
WBBL03 (season average 65.00)
11.7 A Gardner (Sixers)
17.8 SFM Devine (Strikers)
18.5 L Lee (Stars)
21.1 JL Jonassen (Heat)
24.5 CJ Koski (Renegades)
27.7 DM Kimmince (Heat)
Gardner’s 2nd six of her semi-final innings was also the 200th struck in WBBL03. The season tally now stands at 204 with a game to go. There were 111 sixes struck in WBBL01 and 162 in WBBL02. The Sixers have, appropriately enough, hit 46 of the 204 sixes (22.5%) this season. The next best teams (Sydney Thunder & Brisbane Heat) have 28.
Gardner needs 48 runs to break the 1,000 WBBL career runs barrier. If she does so from fewer than 40 deliveries, Gardner will break the record for fewest balls faced to reach that mark. The record (800 BF) is currently held by her Sixers teammate Alyssa Healy.
Gardner’s 72 (45) was the 2nd highest score made in a WBBL knock-out game, beaten only by Healy’s 77 (45) in Sixers’ semi-final win vs Hobart Hurricanes in WBBL02. Gardner & Perry’s 87 run 2nd wicket stand, of which Gardner contributed 69 runs, was the highest partnership in a WBBL knock-out match, and the Sixers highest ever partnership vs the Scorchers.
Adelaide Strikers’ Tammy Beaumont’s 50 (46) in the semi-final made her the first player to score a half-century in a WBBL knock-out game and end up on the losing side.
As well as holding the record for most WBBL career wickets (69), Sydney Sixers’ Sarah Aley has taken by far the most wickets in WBBL knock-out matches (12).
Aley is the only bowler to have taken a four wicket haul in an elimination game. Her 4-23 in Sixers’ victory over Perth Scorchers in the final of WBBL02 were the best figures in a WBBL knock-out match, until her own 4-18 vs Strikers today.
Best bowling figures in a WBBL knock-out match:
4-18 Sarah Aley (Sixers) v Strikers at Adelaide Oval, 02 Feb ’18, WBBL03 S-F
4-23 Sarah Aley (Sixers) v Scorchers at WACA, 28 Jan ’17, WBBL02 Final
3-9 Lisa Sthalekar (Sixers) v Hurricanes at MCG, 22 Jan ’16, WBBL01 S-F
3-15 Dane van Niekerk (Sixers) v Hurricanes at The Gabba, 25 Jan ’17, WBBL02 S-F
3-17 Emma King (Scorchers) v Thunder at Perth Stadium, 01 Feb ’18, WBBL03 S-F
3-20 Rene Farrell (Thunder) v Scorchers at Adelaide Oval, 21 Jan ’16, WBBL01 S-F
3-21 Erin Osborne (Thunder) v Sixers at MCG, 24 Jan ’16, WBBL01 Final
Aley and Garth’s astonishing combined spell of 6 wickets for 3 runs in 18 balls not only effectively ended Adelaide Strikers chances of reaching the final, it also allowed the Sixers to rid themselves of an unwanted record they’d held since their second match of WBBL01. The Sixers 15/5 vs Perth Scorchers at Aquinas College on 12th December 2015 were the most wickets lost in the powerplay of a WBBL innings until Aley & Garth reduced the Strikers to 23/6 in the semi-final at Adelaide Oval.
It wasn’t the most talked about off-season move, but Erin Burns’ move from Hobart Hurricanes to Sydney Sixers was one of the signings of the season. She won’t finish the season with a record runs total or an eye-catching high score, but Burns’ contributions have been key to the Sixers this season. Before Gardner and Healy came back into form with a vengeance towards the end of WBBL03, it was often Burns that helped keep Sixers’ innings on track during the early-mid point of the group stage.
There was a reminder of that today when Sixers looked as though they mightn’t capitalise on Gardner’s innings. It was Burns who hit a breezy 25 (17), including 12 off her last 6 balls faced to ensure the Strikers would need the best part of 7 runs an over to win.
Burns’ season strike rate of 118.25 is the 10th highest among players who have faced 100+ deliveries in WBBL03. All but one of the players above her on the list have played international cricket. Burns also has the most catches for Sixers this season (9).
Most WBBL career runs:
1,347 BL Mooney (Heat)
1,330 EA Perry (Sixers)
1,287 EJ Villani (Scorchers)
1,144 AJ Healy (Sixers)
1,134 AJ Blackwell (Thunder)
1,062 MM Lanning (Stars)
1,040 RL Haynes (Thunder)
983 NE Bolton (Scorchers)
964 SW Bates (Strikers/Scorchers)
952 A Gardner (Sixers)
Most WBBL career wickets:
69 Sarah Aley (Sixers)
54 Rene Farrell (Thunder)
53 Molly Strano (Renegades)
49 Katherine Brunt (Scorchers)
47 Nicola Carey (Thunder)
42 Marizanne Kapp (Sixers)
40 Amy Satterthwaite (Renegades/Hurricanes)
39 Jemma Barsby (Heat); Jess Jonassen (Heat)
37 Amanda Wellington (Strikers)