Strikers wary of Healy's wounded Sixers
Alyssa Healy's Hurstville hundred habit a major talking point ahead of a make-or-break weekend for the Strikers and Sixers
27 November 2019, 08:57 PM AEST
Adelaide Strikers will embark on a mission to rewrite history when they travel to Sydney to take on the Sixers this weekend.
The Strikers are second on the Rebel WBBL table with one weekend of regular season matches remaining.
Should they win both of their upcoming matches against the Sixers at Hurstville Oval, they will earn the right to host the WBBL semi-finals and final on December 7-8.
But standing in their way is a wounded Sixers outfit fighting for survival in WBBL|05 after losing four matches in a row for the first time since the first edition of the competition.
History, also, goes against the Strikers; in four seasons they have never beaten the Sixers.
The teams have met at Hurstville three times across the last two seasons, with one thing remaining consistent – Alyssa Healy making big runs.
Across those three matches at the boutique venue, Sixers opener Healy has struck scores of 106, 63 and 112no.
"The key wicket is getting Alyssa Healy out cheaply," Strikers leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington said on Wednesday.
"The last few games against us she’s hit a couple of hundreds and fifties, so she’s the main target of ours.
"Megan Schutt and Sophie Devine been performing with the ball consistently, so they’ll play a big role for us."
Healy, who has been filling in as Sixers captain in the absence of injured skipper Ellyse Perry, is coming off a streak of uncharacteristically low scores, having scored 4, 10, 2 and 0 in her four most recent knocks.
Another major discussion point heading into the game will be the availability of Perry herself.
Perry injured her right AC joint against the Renegades on November 17, with the club hoping she would only be on the sidelines for 1-3 weeks.
The Sixers remained cagey on Wednesday, closing their SCG training session to media.
At risk of missing the finals for the first time in the competition’s history, Sixers spinner Lauren Smith said spirits remained high among the two-time champions.
"We've had quite a lot of success against the Adelaide Strikers but they're coming off quite a few wins," Smith said.
"The weekend is going to be really important for our team to come together and perform at the right time and get some momentum for the finals the following week.
"We're in a really good space at the moment."
The Sixers are fourth on the table, level on 12 points with the fifth-ranked Renegades.
They need to win both matches against the Strikers and maintain a superior net run rate to the Renegades to be sure of advancing, a loss would leave them relying on the Renegades also drop at least one match.
The Strikers currently sit level on 18 points with the top-ranked Brisbane Heat but have a game in hand, meaning two wins would see them earn the right to host the finals even if the Heat defeat the Stars on Sunday.
"Hosting the finals would be very exciting," Wellington said.
"I think the last semi-final we had here (in Adelaide) was against the Scorchers at Adelaide Oval, so hopefully we can have a final here at Karen Rolton Oval and get a big crowd out here."