Alyssa Healy Sydney Sixers WBBL|07

Alyssa Healy playing for the Sydney Sixers in WBBL|07. (Photo: WBBL - Twitter)

Sydney Sixers superstar Alyssa Healy was back to her best with the bat, posting 94* off 57 balls to help the side record their second win of WBBL|07.

Sydney Sixers superstar Alyssa Healy has blasted a game-defining score of 94* off 57 balls to help the side set a large first-innings total, which helped snap a 4 game losing streak as the Sixers picked up their second win of WBBL|07, beating the Perth Scorchers by 44 runs.

The best of Healy returned at Lilac Hill after falling victim to some low scores across the four previous matches, unable to crack more than 14 runs – with three single-digit scores – after starting the season with a half-century on opening night.

However, against the Scorchers, the opener found form, working in tandem with fellow veteran Australian teammate Ellyse Perry who was retained top of the order after the promotion there in yesterday’s loss to the Renegades.

Healy and Perry combined for a 101-run opening partnership before the latter was bowled by Taneale Peschel for 31 off 39 balls. It was the seventh time the pair had delivered a 100-run partnership together.

When Perry departed, Healy continued punishing the Scorchers bowling unit, hitting 12 fours and two sixes as she batted through the innings, determined to see the Sixers post what would become their biggest total of the season to date (3/161).

Healy looked in control all innings, knowing when to hold back and get her eye in with the first three overs going for 10 runs. Although, this low run rate wouldn’t remain for long as Healy hit her first boundary – and the first boundary of the game -, pulling a bouncer for a one-bounce four through mid-wicket.

Healy came alive in the fifth over, punishing Lisa Griffith in an over that went for 14 runs – 13 of which were added to her score, including three fours as she pounced on full tosses and the short and wide-pitched deliveries, using the full circumference of Lilac Hill and picking the gaps.

The 31-year-old had her strike rate growing even more with a maximum, clearing the rope on a Lilly Mills full-toss, finding the middle of the bat to pull the ball over the fence at square leg.

The partnership of Healy and Perry ticked along greatly, as the two rarely gave up dot balls, always finding a single or push for two runs, however, Healy always managed to find the boundary – through a four, or six – almost every over.

When Perry departed and Ash Gardner joined Healy in the middle, the run rate dried up briefly with a few dot balls as the new batter looked to get her eye in. When Healy got a chance though, she didn’t let up, still finding runs and the boundary.

Gardner fell cheaply for eight runs off 16 balls and it looked like the Shefali Verma would be just as damaging with the bat as Healy but she too was run out, for eight runs off six balls.

Maitlin Brown, after being the Sixers’ top-scorer in yesterday’s loss to the Renegades assisted Healy to extend their score past 150, but a 14-run last over – which included two fours for Healy – got the Sixers to a score of 161.

The Sixers was able to be just as lethal with the ball, restricting Perth to 9/117 in its second-inning run chase, Perry again in the thick of the action early, claiming the wicket of Sophie Devine in her one and only over for the game.

Nicole Bolton (3/11 off two overs) tore through the Scorchers’ middle order, removing the dangerous Chloe Piparo, and three balls later, Chamari Athapaththu for a duck. Her third wicket was that of Marizanne Kapp.

Lauren Cheatle (2/13 off four overs) continued her return to the bowling unit following an extended run of injury, whereas Indian orthodox spinner Radha Yadav (2/22 off four overs) continued her form with the ball, including getting the all-important wicket of Beth Mooney.

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Speaking post-game, Sixers batter Nicole Bolton talked about the keeper- batter’s masterclass with the bat and how the opening partnership set the side up to record their second win of the season.

” I think [Healy and Perry] had great intent in putting that really big partnership that sort of set up our batting innings,” Bolton said.

“I thought Midge was very classy and played another outstanding innings and I think took a lot of momentum out of that into our bowling and our bowlers just really stuck to their plans and created chances and took them I think and we know that’s pretty close to our best performance so far.”

For a team who’s searching for a return to finals after two years of finishing outside of the top four, Bolton believes this huge win presents the two-time WBBL champions a chance to be on the mend and turn their season around.

“We knew what we’re capable of and I think it just shows great resilience with this group,” she said.

“I mean, this tournament can be really fickle, you get on a bit of a winning streak and a losing streak and we were pretty keen to stop that at three today.

“We didn’t shy away from the brand that we wanted to play and we really stamped our authority and I think we looked to take the game on. I think when we looked to do that and attack, we do our best cricket so hopefully, it kickstarts us for the rest of the tournament.”

With Healy now finding some form and important contributions from Perry, and other batters in the lineup, as well as the bowling unit lead by Lauren Cheatle and Brown, Bolton hopes it sets in motion a series of players returning to form to help the team find a few more wins.

“I think it’s all about people coming into form at the right time, backing themselves,” she mentions.

“We’ve got an outstanding lineup and not everyone’s gonna fire at the same time but I think if players sort of pop up here and there, we’re gonna put ourselves in a pretty competitive position.”

The Sydney Sixers remain in Perth for one more fixture, taking on the Hobart Hurricanes on Wednesday, November 3 at the WACA from 10:25 am local time.

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