Thrilling finals cap off successful WBBL|04
Exciting finals series a great climax to a WBBL season that broke records on and off the field
30 January 2019, 11:14 AM AEST
The sell-out Rebel WBBL final at Drummoyne Oval was the icing on the cake of a season that smashed records both on and off the field.
A total of 5368 people packed into the Sydney venue to watch the Brisbane Heat claim their first WBBL title, upsetting home team and two-time champions Sydney Sixers in a final-over thriller.
In total, 8735 people attended the semi-finals and final, with all ticket sales donated to Dolly’s Dream in an effort to combat bullying.
The final was also the most watched WBBL game ever with a combined average audience of 479,000, peaking at 812,000.
Across the country fans turned out in droves during WBBL|04, with a total of 135,861 fans attending across the 59-game season - an average of 2,384 per match, including a record 5650 at Mackay’s Harrup Park which set a new mark for the highest attendance at a standalone WBBL match.
The WBBL attendance record at Optus Stadium was also broken this season, as 14,983 attended the Perth Scorchers Boxing Day Bash against the Brisbane Heat.
WBBL|04 also had a big impact with online audiences, with over 3.8 million highlight views recorded on YouTube and almost 10 million minutes viewed on the Cricket Network’s live stream, with a 38 per cent rise of minutes viewed in Australia compared to last season. All non-televised matches were streamed live and free on cricket.com.au and the CA Live App.
On the field, the runs flowed thicker and faster than ever before.
The overall run rate for WBBL|04 was 7.31, up from 6.69 last summer and more than one run higher the 6.29 the runs were scored at during the competition’s inaugural season in 2015-16.
There were 39 totals higher than 150 across WBBL|04, more than the 37 scored across the first three seasons combined.
Players cleared the ropes more regularly than ever before, with a total of 270 sixes struck across the 59 matches – a big leap from the 206 scored in WBBL|03. Just 273 sixes were scored across the first two seasons combined.
A total of six centuries were scored – two by Ellyse Perry alongside tons from Lizelle Lee, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney – well up on the four scored in total across the first three seasons.
Harris’ ton, against the Melbourne Stars at the Gabba, was the fastest in WBBL history, coming from just 42 deliveries.
And leading the way with the bat was Sixers captain Perry, who smashed the record for most runs in a single WBBL season when she struck 777 runs including two centuries and six half-centuries, easily surpassing the previous mark of 560 scored by national skipper Meg Lanning in WBBL|01.
“If you look at the competition across the board, there were that many records broken by individuals,” Perry said.
“Off the top of my head I can think of Grace Harris and her fastest 100, Molly Strano taking the most wickets in the competition, and probably the highest totals scored by teams consistency.
“There’s so much to be excited about in terms of where the sport is going.”
Three matches were decided by a Super Over, including the Sixers’ thrilling semi-final victory over the Renegades.