All it took was 2 overs in the second innings to swing the momentum, as a blistering half-century from Alyssa Healy for the Sydney Sixers to swing the opening game of season seven of the Women’s Big Bash League against the Melbourne Stars.
The Hobart weather put a dampener on proceedings as rain played its role again at the start of the home cricket season but once the skies cleared and the game was reduced to an 11 over encounter, the Sixers won the toss and sent the Stars into bat.
It was a sloppy start for the Sixers in the field with some loose bowling and poor fielding allowing the Stars to get off to a good start with the bat in the powerplay overs.
A direct hit from star Indian recruit Shafali Verma caught Annabel Sutherland out of her ground at the non – strikers end, bringing the first wicket of the season.
It brought Australian captain Meg Lanning to the crease who partnered with Elyse Villani in a 50 run stand to take the Stars to 1/99 off their allotted 11 overs.
In reply, the much-vaunted opening combination of Healy and Shafali Verma came together for the first time and immediately took to the under-strength Stars bowling attack. Verma couldn’t quite get going in her first WBBL game with the teenager playing all around a full ball from Annabel Sutherland, bowled for 8 off 10 balls.
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As the Australian wicketkeeper started to find her groove in the middle, the white kookaburra was finding the Bellerive Oval fence at will as Healy feasted on a couple of loose overs from Kim Garth and Annabel Sutherland, delivering her half-century in 24 balls before being dismissed bowled by Sophie Day on 57 three balls later.
Speaking to media post-game after being awarded player of the match, Healy was pleased to be back among the runs following a modest international series against India.
“I say it all the time, especially in T20 cricket, you just need some luck,” Healy said after her player-of-the-match performance.
“I got run out off the bowler’s hand in the last T20 international and got a peach in the Test match. That’s just the way to cookie crumbles.
“I was just looking forward to coming into Big Bash, playing with some freedom, enjoying myself, and hopefully playing some good cricket.”
It’s a quick turnaround for the Sixers who return to Blundstone Arena on Sunday where they meet the Hobart Hurricanes at 1:40 pm AEDT