Once is unlikely… but TWICE in a row?
Alyssa Healy blasted the fourth-fastest century in WBBL history but it wasn’t enough to lift her Sydney Sixers into the finals during Sunday’s action-packed conclusion to the regular season.
The Sixers needed to beat top side Melbourne Stars and overhaul a massive deficit in net run rate to dislodge Perth Scorchers from the top four.
The task proved too difficult despite Healy’s 48-ball century forming the basis of a five-wicket win over the Stars, with two balls to spare, in a rain-affected match at North Sydney Oval.
Healy hit 15 fours and six sixes on her way to 111 from just 52 deliveries, falling just short of Ash Gardner’s record high-score of 114 and her own personal best of 112 not out.
It was her fourth WBBL century as she produced a stunning 150-run opening partnership with Ellyse Perry (31 off 36).
It came after Stars captain Meg Lanning (77 off 59) guided her side to 4-178 from 19 overs before rain briefly stopped play.
Lanning had strong support from Elyse Villani (45 off 28), who batted through a minor hamstring complaint.
The result drew the Sixers level on points with Perth Scorchers, but they missed out on the top four due to their inferior net run rate.
The semi-finals will see the top-seeded Stars take on the Scorchers on Wednesday, with two-time defending champions Brisbane Heat to meet Sydney Thunder on Thursday.
Fourth-placed Perth scraped through despite a massive batting collapse that proved costly in a three-run defeat to Adelaide Strikers at North Sydney Oval.
In-form batters Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney produced a 118-run opening stand to put the Scorchers well on track in their pursuit of Adelaide’s 6-159.
But Devine’s wicket was the start of a crumble as the Scorchers lost 5-20 in the space of four overs.
They needed nine runs off the final over to win but Sarah Coyte’s tight bowling got the Strikers across the line as Perth could only manage 7-156.
Player of the match Amanda-Jade Wellington (48 off 25) smashed five fours and two sixes for the Strikers, helping set the Scorchers a difficult run-chase.
The Thunder locked away third spot on the ladder with a six-wicket win over last-placed Hobart Hurricanes.
Shabnim Ismail (3-10) ripped through the Hurricanes’ top order at Drummoyne Oval, claiming three wickets in her first two overs to set up the victory.
Her destructive opening spell helped restrict the Hurricanes to 9-115, which the Thunder mowed down comfortably to confirm their semifinal appearance.
Phoebe Litchfield (24 not out), Heather Knight (25) and Tammy Beaumont (22) helped ensure the Thunder reached 4-116 to ensure victory with 19 balls to spare.
The loss meant the Hurricanes finished the WBBL campaign with the wooden spoon.
In Sunday’s fourth match, second-placed Brisbane Heat warmed up for the finals with a comfortable 43-run win over Melbourne Renegades in another rain-affected fixture.
Georgia Prestwidge took 4-12 for the Heat as they bowled out the Renegades for 76 in 16.2 overs.
Amelia Kerr’s 35 not out helped the Heat reach 6-114 from their 17 overs.