Rebel WBBL|03

Gardner back for Scorchers clash

Ashleigh Gardner returns in a boost for the Sixers, but the Scorchers have been dealt a major blow with frontline quicks Katherine Brunt and Piepa Cleary ruled out

Susie Giese

29 December 2017, 02:20 PM AEST

Sydney Sixers will welcome back Ashleigh Gardner for Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash with the Perth Scorchers, with the star allrounder named to make her return from concussion.

Gardner has missed the Sixers’ past two clashes after suffering a concussion – her third in less than 12 months – after copping a ball to the grill of her helmet while batting against the Scorchers on December 12.

Ashleigh Gardner cops hit on helmet

The Sixers will again take on the Scorchers on Saturday, this time at Perth’s Lilac Hill, with Gardner named in the 13-player squad for the clash.

She replaces Emily Leys as the Sixers look to reverse the result from when the teams met two weeks ago.

The Sixers bounced back well from the loss, with two convincing wins over Hobart Hurricanes, but will have their work cut out for them against last year’s final opponents Scorchers, led by the in-form Elyse Villani, who hit two half-centuries earlier this week.

But the Scorchers have been dealt a major blow, with star England international Katherine Brunt ruled out with back stiffness.

She bowled three overs in a row against the Melbourne Stars on Wednesday before leaving the field with concerns over her back.

Brunt leaves field of play with back concern

She did not return during the bowling innings and did not bat.

The quick, who currently leads the Rebel WBBL wicket-takers tally, has been replaced in the side and on the Scorchers’ roster by Western Fury bowler Taneale Peschel, but is not expected to be out for long.

Fellow new-ball quick Piepa Cleary is also out of the side which lost to the Stars on Wednesday.

Saturday’s match between the Scorchers and Sixers will start at 10am WST (1pm AEDT).

Scorchers 13-player squad: Elyse Villani (C), Nicole Bolton, Mathilda Carmichael, Lauren Ebsary, Heather Graham, Katie Hartshorn, Mikayla Hinkley, Emma King, Thamsyn Newton, Taneale Peschel, Chloe Piparo, Natalie Sciver, Emily Smith.

Sixers 13-player squad: Ellyse Perry (C), Sarah Aley, Erin Burns, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Alyssa Healy, Jodie Hicks, Carly Leeson, Marizanne Kapp, Sara McGlashan, Angela Reakes, Lauren Smith, Dane van Niekerk.

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