A continuation of the recap from week two of the Women's Big Bash League 04 (Part II):
Match 9: All-round Perry and defiant bowlers see Sixers win first Sydney derby
Sydney Sixers 168/4 (20 overs) (Perry 74*, Burns 44, S Taylor 2/16) defeated Sydney Thunder 132/7 (20 overs) (Kaur 45, Farrell 33*, Perry 2/11, Cheatle 2/15) by 36 runs.
It was a weekend to remember for Ellyse Perry as she backed up her century against the Scorchers with another scintillating knock to ensure the Sixers went atop the WBBL ladder with a resounding 36-run win over contemporaries the Sydney Thunder in their first derby match.
She backed up her unbeaten half-century with two wickets as the Thunder struggled to chase down the 169 set by the Sixers earlier on. The Sixers were all over the Thunder from the start of the innings, leaving them reeling at 35/4 after eight overs. While Harmanpreet Kaur shored up the middle order with a quick 45 there was to be no Melbourne Stars-esque rescue today. Rene Farrell's late blows at the end only slimmed down the margin of defeat as the Sixers ran out comfortable winners. Lauren Cheatle also took two wickets while Ashleigh Gardner was tidy again.
Perry was the leading run-scorer in WBBL 03 with 552 runs and this season has already amassed 234 runs in her first three innings, with one century and two fifties at the average of 234 and strike rate of 141. At this rate she will gallop past the total she set last season. Perry got the Sixers got out of the blocks quickly, and after wickets in consecutive balls, Erin Burns turned the aggressor. She hammered 44 off 22 balls in their 66-run stand, before late cameos from Dane Van Niekerk and Sara McGlashan saw the Sixers post a competitive total. Perry carried her bat to 74 from 66 balls.
Match 10: Hurricanes blow away Stars with resounding win
Hobart Hurricanes 196/6 (20 overs) (Mandhana 69, Matthews 42, King 2/22) defeated Melbourne Stars 124 all out (16.5 overs) (Reakes 31, Knight 3/10, Pyke 2/19) by 72 runs.
The Hurricanes also got their first win of the tournament, racking up a mammoth total which proved too much for the Stars in their second match played at Burnie over the weekend.
Indian Smriti Mandhana led the way with a scintillating knock of 69 off 41 balls as her and Haley Matthews shared in a second-wicket stand of 98. Contributions down the order from Heather Knight, Corinne Hall and captain Sasha Maloney saw them finish at a towering 196/6. Spinners Erin Osborne (1/22 off 4) and Alana King (2/22 off 3) again stood out for Melbourne whilst the rest of the bowlers struggled as Osborne used eight in total.
The total was going to be more challenging than the 159 they chased the day prior and so it showed as they found the run rate tough to contend with at the outset. Veronica Pyke took the first two wickets to fall and the Stars consistently lost wickets in the search for runs. Angela Reakes made 31 at the top, but Heather Knight carved into the middle to lower order with 3/10 off her four overs as the Hurricanes were big winners by 72 runs.
Match 11: Melbourne Renegades vs Adelaide Strikers - No Result
Renegades 83/4 (14.3 overs) (Molineux 44*, Schutt 2/9) vs Strikers 27/2 (4.3 overs) (Target 78 from 11 overs) - No result
The WBBL's foray into Ballarat, Victoria at the Eastern Oval, unfortunately, proved fruitless as the match was abandoned due to rain.
Sophie Molineux played an assured knock which saw the Renegades reach 83/4 in the 15th over in tough conditions, which is all the weather would allow.
A revised target of 78 in 11 overs was made for the Strikers, with six overs required at a minimum to constitute a match. At 27/2 mid-way through the fifth over the match really could have gone either way, before the weather again spoilt proceedings. It left both teams sharing the points.
Match 12: Thunder back to winning ways with comfortable win over Heat
Sydney Thunder 192/4 (20 overs) (Kaur 56, Priest 49, Johnson 2/30) defeated Brisbane Heat 164 all out (18.5 overs) (Harris 54, Kimince 38, Gibson 3/18, S Taylor 3/23) by 28 runs.
After their loss in the Sydney derby, the Thunder rebounded back after their top order paved the way for a 28-run win over the Heat in Sydney today. The win was enough to take them to the second spot on the ladder behind the Sixers, with two wins from three matches as well.
A clinical effort from the top three set up the platform for the Thunder before Alex Blackwell put the finishing touches on as the Thunder plundered their way to 192/4 in their 20 overs. Rachel Priest and Rachael Haynes put on 89 for the first wicket in 10 overs, with Priest blasting a belligerent 49 off 28 balls.
Haynes made 36 before Harmanpreet Kaur backed up her second good batting effort of the weekend with a 26-ball 56 blitzkrieg that included six fours and three sixes. Blackwell made 33 off 18 as the Thunder smashed 62 in the last five overs. Sami-Jo Johnson was again good with the ball, taking 2/30 off her four overs as the rest of the bowlers got hit around the park.
It appears the larger totals in excess of 170 are going to be tough to chase this season based on results so far, and today was no exception. Grace Harris, however, gave the Heat a chance at the top, cracking 54 off 28 including five sixes, as the Heat kept pace with the run-rate, placed at 88/3 through the 10th over. However, her dismissal set off a flurry of wickets which saw the Heat collapse to 98/8. Delissa Kimince brought the Heat closer to the target with a rapid 38, but the Heat were simply too far behind, being bowled out in the final over.
Standings after three rounds (net run-rate in brackets):
Sydney Sixers 4 (0.48)
Sydney Thunder 4 (0.28)
Melbourne Stars 4 (-0.80)
Adelaide Strikers 3 (0.88)
Melbourne Renegades 3 (-0.54)
Hobart Hurricanes 2 (1.04)
Brisbane Heat 2 (-0.14)
Perth Scorchers 2 (-1.10)