The Sydney Sixers batting order collapsed, in an eight wicket defeat at the hands of a clinical bowling contingent in the Adelaide Strikers.
At Adelaide Oval for the final weekend of the regular WBBL|07 season, the Sixers struggled with the bat and were unable to really challenge the Strikers’ with their bowling.
It was off to a disappointing start for the Sydney Sixers, who lost Alyssa Healy on the second delivery.
A mis-timed drive from the Australian keeper was caught by Amanda-Jade Wellington at mid-on and unfortunately it only got tougher from there.
Ashleigh Gardner fell without making a run as well, caught behind on the first ball she faced.
Ellyse Perry and Nicole Bolton started to settle at the crease for the Sixers, however, Strikers’ fast bowler Darcie Brown struck again dismissing Perry lbw.
The top-order collapse continued, as the pressure started to mount and miscommunication resulted in the run out of Shafali Verma without facing a ball.
At the end of the Powerplay, the Sixers were 5/28 with a massive challenge ahead of them.
After finding some swing in the opening overs, the Strikers looked to take the pace off following the Powerplay. Wellington was brought into the attack and she took the wicket of Angela Reakes at the end of the seventh over, caught by D Brown at mid on.
The new partnership between Maitlan Brown and Radha Yadav looked solid, putting on 17 runs, before M Brown fell for six.
Yadav looked comfortable out there, even finding the boundary, but her stint in the middle was just as short as she departed for 12 off 15.
Lauren Cheatle was the most attacking of the Sixers’ batters, adding 16 runs, but without strong contributions of any other players, the Sixers were bowled out for 82 runs in the 20th over.
Speaking on the broadcast about what went wrong, Alyssa Healy said it just hasn’t all come together for the Sixers this season.
The fielding fumbles, including one that went for four as she was on the microphone, and other little things have made it tough for the Sixers to piece together a whole match.
“It’s hard to put a finger on it (what’s gone wrong),” Healy said.
“I mean we’ve been talking about it the last week and a half about what it is, but I think we just haven’t been good enough at the small stuff.
“Like hitting the right length with the ball, and when it comes to our batting, especially in the last two weeks, it’s just been neither here nor there.
“It’s a bit of everything, I suppose.”
While the side has seen some changes ahead of WBBL|07, and while the squad has loved their time together away from the field, on field it just hasn’t connected as they’d have liked.
“It just feels like we haven’t quite clicked.
“Our bowling hasn’t quite been where it’s needed to be when our batting’s been great and our batting’s been poor when our bowling’s been good.”
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The collapse today was a low point this season, however, the energy and attitude of the Sydney Sixers cannot be faulted by their captain Perry last week against the Strikers, nor this time by Healy.
“We’re all aware that that (batting performance) was probably not good enough.
“Exactly not what we needed, especially knowing we needed to put a big score on the board, but look we’re honestly really enjoying everyone’s company and it just doesn’t come together on the field.
“So, it’s just about enjoying ourselves, trying to put on a good show, taking some poles, obviously.”
With such a small target for the Strikers to chase, wickets were the only hope of slowing the Strikers down.
However, Adelaide was on a mission to improve its net run rate and push further up the ladder, resulting in some beautiful cricket shots from Dané van Niekerk and Katie Mack.
Shafali did end van Niekerk’s innings on 33, caught at mid-off, M Brown the bowler.
The Sixers also dismissed Mack for 24, but two wickets barely slowed the Strikers in their chase.
It took just 11 overs for the Adelaide Strikers to secure the win, Laura Wolvaardt finishing it off with a four.
With one more game left in the season, it’s up to the players to finish the season on a good note, being tidier while still having fun and enjoying the game.
The Sydney Sixers will return to Adelaide Oval their final match of WBBL|07 on Sunday morning, up against the Perth Scorchers at 10:15am AEDT.
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