28/02/2024

Ash Gardner enjoyed a return to form with a half-century against the Hurricanes. Image: @SixersBBL/ Twitter

Ash Gardner was back in the runs and Nicole Bolton contributed with the bat, ball and in the field as the Sixers jumped into the top 4 in WBBL|07

Ashleigh Gardner was back in the runs and Nicole Bolton has enjoyed a happy return to her home ground at the WACA with an all-round contribution with the bat, ball, and a blinding catch in the field has set up an important victory for the Sydney Sixers, downing the Hobart Hurricanes by 31 runs at the WACA.

A 103 run partnership between Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner was central to the Sixers win which has sent them back into contention at the mid-way point of WBBL|07.

After breaking their losing streak against the Scorchers at Lilac Hill on Sunday, the Sixers were hoping to carry their momentum, having a good record against the Hurricanes.

Alyssa Healy fell for a two-ball duck in the first over of the game, spooning a delivery into the hands of Nicola Carey in the covers off the bowling of Tayla Vlaeminck. The wicket brought Gardner to the crease who was in desperate need of runs herself.

Gardner played the aggressor as Perry was the anchor point throughout the Sixers innings as Sixers all-rounder started to find her groove and the boundaries at the WACA at will, using her power and the lightning-fast outfield on offer to hit 8 boundaries in her 51 off 49 balls.

Gardner departed shortly after reaching the milestone, picking out Belinda Vakawera attempting to go large to continue moving the score along. A late cameo from Nicole Bolton helped prop the Sixers total to 4/141, courtesy of Bolton’s 14 off 9 balls, including 3 boundaries.

Bolton was once again in the thick of the action in the field, putting on a show on her home ground with both the ball and in the field.

After early wickets which saw the destructive Ruth Johnston and in form South African Mignon du Preez fall cheaply, Bolton injected herself into the fray, pulling off a stunning catch to remove Rachel Preist just as the Hurricanes were starting to get momentum into their innings.

Bolton then took 2 wickets in 2 balls to break the back of the Hurricanes resistance, finishing with 2/28 off her 4 overs as the Hurricanes could only muster 7/110 off their allotted 20 overs.

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Speaking post-match after being awarded player of the match, Gardner said it was nice to get some time in the middle and find some runs after a lean patch of “not great” form.

“I think I haven’t been in the best of form, it’s probably pretty obvious,” Gardner said.

“I think it was really crucial for me to spend some time in the middle today. Going at just over a run a ball.

“I think being out in the middle helps that and gives that confidence back and hopefully this is a sign of me spending some more time out in the middle”

The Sixers now sit fourth on the table after 2 wins in Perth which has put some momentum back into the team in magenta’s season. Gardner said the all- round contribution from the whole squad has been a big factor in getting the Sixers season back on track.

“That’s what our team has done the whole way through, there hasn’t always been one person that stood out, there’s been a team performance every game, whether we’ve won or lost and that’s the most pleasing thing.

“Whether it’s young people standing up, our internationals or our Aussie players, it’s been a real team performance and I think that’s the crucial part going into the back end and then hopefully finals”.

The Sixers now fly to Adelaide where they will next play the Brisbane Heat on November 9th at Karen Rolton Oval with the game commencing at 14:35 AEDT.

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