Alyssa Healy delivered another batting masterclass but her 111 off 52 against Melbourne Stars was not enough for Sydney Sixers to claim a place in the finals. Instead, Perth Scorchers clinched a top-four spot on the final day of the WBBL regular season.
The Scorchers, who could have secured their place in next week’s finals with victory over Adelaide Strikers earlier in the day, fell to a three-run defeat to leave the door open. It left the Sixers requiring a heavy win at North Sydney Oval to keep alive their hopes playing finals, but after the Stars posted 178-4, that was effectively put out of reach.
Still, Healy ensured her season ended on a personal high as she blasted the WBBL’s fourth-fastest century – off just 48 balls – in an innings that included 15 fours and six sixes. She fell just short of Ash Gardner’s record high-score of 114 and her own personal best of 112 not out.
It came in an opening wicket partnership of 150 with Ellyse Perry that laid the foundations for the five-wicket win, secured with two balls to spare. But victory was tempered as her team missed out of finals for the second season running.
The result drew the Sixers level on points with Perth, but they missed out on the top four due to their inferior net run rate.
The Stars, for who Meg Lanning hit 77 off 59, will meet the Scorchers in the first of next week’s finals, while two-time defending champions Brisbane Heat meet Sydney Thunder, who locked away their top-four berth with a six-wicket win over the last-placed Hobart Hurricanes earlier on Sunday.
Fourth-placed Perth scraped through despite a massive batting collapse that proved costly in a three-run defeat to Adelaide Strikers at North Sydney Oval.
In-form batters Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney produced a 118-run opening stand to put the Scorchers well on track in their pursuit of Adelaide’s 159-6. But Devine’s wicket was the start of a crumble as the Scorchers lost 5-20 in the space of four overs.
They needed nine runs off the final over to win but Sarah Coyte’s tight bowling got the Strikers across the line as Perth could only manage 156-7. Player of the match Amanda-Jade Wellington (48 off 25) smashed five fours and two sixes for the Strikers, helping set the Scorchers a difficult run-chase.
The Thunder locked away third spot on the ladder with a six-wicket win over last-placed Hobart Hurricanes. Shabnim Ismail (3-10) ripped through the Hurricanes’ top order at Drummoyne Oval, claiming three wickets in her first two overs to set up the victory.
Her destructive opening spell helped restrict the Hurricanes to 115-9, which the Thunder mowed down comfortably to confirm their semi-final appearance. Phoebe Litchfield (24 not out), Heather Knight (25) and Tammy Beaumont (22) helped ensure the Thunder reached 116-4 to ensure victory with 19 balls to spare. The loss meant the Hurricanes finished the WBBL campaign with the wooden spoon.
In Sunday’s fourth match, second-placed Brisbane Heat warmed up for the finals with a comfortable 43-run win over Melbourne Renegades in another rain-affected fixture. Georgia Prestwidge took 4-12 for the Heat as they bowled out the Renegades for 76 in 16.2 overs. Amelia Kerr’s 35 not out helped the Heat reach 114-6 from their 17 overs.