Momentum everything in finals race

The last weekend of the WBBL regular season will see a fierce battle for finals berths

It is the morning of the last round of the Rebel Women's Big Bash League and I have woken up to the sound of rain. It reminds me of when I was in the Under 10's - every Saturday morning ritual began with peeling back the curtains hoping that the sun was shining.

The WBBL has taken all players back to the start of our careers; when the excitement of playing cricket on the weekend would prevent us from sleeping, or we would count down the days until our next match. It has certainly given me a new lease in my own cricket career - something that I did not think was possible.

Whilst off the field the competition will be seen as a success with record viewer numbers and crowd attendance, on-field it has been just as rewarding.

All teams still have the chance of making the final four. True, some may need a minor miracle and plenty of results to go their way, but the point remains - everyone still has a chance.

For my team, the Sydney Sixers, the equation is simple - control what we can control and win the last three matches.

After a horrendous start to the competition, losing the first six matches, the Sixers have been on an upward trajectory since registering our first win against the Perth Scorchers at the SCG just before Christmas.

That day also marked the wedding day of our captain Ellyse Perry. Since then the Sixers have been on a high, or as the new hashtag states, the #sixersaregoingvertical.

Our turnaround highlights the fragility of the shortest format of the game. Momentum is certainly the key in this type of tournament; at any one moment you could be in the middle of a winning streak, but in the course of just a few matches the opposite can occur.

So what has changed for the Sixers? Honestly, not a lot. Our approach to the game, how we have prepared, and the style of cricket we are trying to play has been consistent throughout the tournament.

Losing Alyssa Healy for five matches didn’t help, certainly. As our opening batter and wicket-keeper, it just showed how much teams still rely on their keeper to marshal the troops on the field. Keepers, crazy as they are, really do drive the energy in the field. Coupled with Healy’s hitting ability at the top of the order, hers was perhaps too big a loss for us to cope with.

Add to that the effect of  losing that many matches in a row and players start to doubt their ability and question their gut instinct. That is never a good thing, especially when cricket is such a fluid game; often all you have to rely on are your instincts, with the game played at such a frantic pace.

Although the win against the Scorchers wasn’t our prettiest - we struggled to chase down a small total of 108 – it allowed one of our young guns Ashleigh Gardner stepped up and changed the momentum in our favour. She has since gone on to perform extremely well in her position at number three.

Credit must go to our leaders Ellyse Perry and Ben Sawyer who have remained so positive throughout our campaign. This is the first time that they have captained and coached at this level, but the positive and fun environment that they have created has allowed players to find their feet and now flourish.

For this reason, as the rain continues to fall, it would be a real shame if the weather were to disrupt the last weekend of matches. With so much at stake and with all teams still a chance of making the final four, here’s hoping nothing gets in the way of finishing what has already been an amazing tournament.