Healy hammers the Stars in WBBL season opener
Dynamic opener helps make short work of a rain-reduced target of 100 in the first match of WBBL|07
14 October 2021, 10:21 PM AEST
Alyssa Healy has started the Weber WBBL|07 season in electrifying fashion, hammering 57 from just 27 balls to guide the Sydney Sixers to a six-wicket win over the Melbourne Stars in a rain-reduced encounter.
Elyse Villani’s rapid fire 54no from 31 deliveries helped the Stars to 1-99 from a reduced 11 overs, but with the Stars fielding an inexperienced and undermanned attack – Erin Osborne missed with a shoulder complaint and overseas recruit Linsey Smith is still in quarantine – they had little to counter the power of Healy.
The Australian opener had come into the tournament off back three consecutive single-digit scores against India but showed no signs of rustiness at Blundstone Arena.
Opening with teenage India star Shafali Verma for the first time, Healy took the attack to 18-year-old pace bowler Tess Flintoff, finding the rope from the second ball of the chase and following up with four consecutive boundaries two overs later.
Annabel Sutherland got the better of Verma, who had made a scratchy eight runs before being bowled, but there was no stopping Healy, who hammered back-to-back fours off left-arm spinner Sophie Day to put the chase well in hand.
Healy’s half-century came off just 24 deliveries, two balls behind the tournament record.
A late stumble saw Ashleigh Gardner dismissed for seven, Healy’s whirlwind knock end on 57 and Ellyse Perry removed for seven, before Angela Reakes hit the winning runs with four balls to spare.
Sent in by the Sixers after the delayed start, the Stars debuted a new opening partnership with Sutherland joining Villani at the top of the order, with Meg Lanning shifting to No.3.
With limited deliveries the move did not pay off, with Sutherland scoring just 14 runs from 19 balls faced before Verma announced her arrival to the WBBL with a brilliant direct-hit run out to remove the Australian allrounder in the sixth over.
There was no hesitancy from Villani, who later revealed she had been working on her power game since relocating to Tasmania earlier this year, as she targeted Perry, hitting two fours off the allrounder’s first over.
Lanning found the boundary four times in her unbeaten 17-ball 23, including three off the one Stella Campbell over, before Villani put the finishing touches on the Stars’ innings, hitting Perry for two more fours and a six in the penultimate over.
Perry went for 27 runs from her two overs, the most expensive of the Sixers attack.
The Sixers meet the Hobart Hurricanes on Sunday, while the Stars are back in action on October 19.