Both teams come into the final in good form after dominating their respective semi-finals.
The Scorchers comfortably defeated the Thunder with a strong all-round performance. Their top order fired with the bat, with all four batters scoring at least 27. They followed this up with a strong performance in the field, with consistent bowling pressuring the Thunder batters which led to wickets.
The Sixers were phenomenal as well. Ash Gardner starred with the bat, making a rapid-fire 72 off 45, while some late hitting from Erin Burns got them to 138. With the ball Sarah Aley and Kim Garth decimated Adelaide’s middle order, taking six wickets between them in three overs.
Perth will have to be wary of this strong Sixers bowling so that they don’t suffer the same fate as Adelaide. Aley is the second leading wicket taker in the tournament, Garth has taken at least one wicket in each of her last eight matches, and since her return, Sarah Coyte has taken seven wickets. Throw in the undisputable quality of Ellyse Perry and Gardner and it’s easy to see why opposing teams have struggled to score.
The Scorchers aren’t short of firepower as they boast the leading run scorer (Elyse Villani) and the leading wicket taker (Katherine Brunt). With the ball, they rely heavily on Brunt, but improving medium pacers Piepa Cleay and Heather Graham have taken some pressure off Brunt. With the bat, Villani, Sciver and Bolton have all had fantastic tournaments and will back themselves to overcome Sydney’s strong bowling.
The Sixers have been relying on big individual performances recently, with Alyssa Healy and Ash Gardner playing match-winning knocks. Sydney has plenty of stars but if Perth can get a couple of early wickets, the pressure will be firmly on Sydney’s middle order.
Last time they met
Perth won by six wickets with seven balls remaining on December 30, with fantastic contributions from Villani and Bolton. With the ball, Bolton dismissed Healy on the first ball of the match and ended with figures of 2/15. The Sixers made just 138. Bolton and Villani put on 103 for the first wicket and guided the Scorchers to a comfortable victory.
Player to watch: Sarah Aley (Sydney Sixers)
The canny seamer is not the biggest name in this contest, but she may hold the key. When these two teams met in last year’s final, she took 4/23 and was awarded Player of the Match. This season, she’s taken 22 wickets and took 4/18 in the Semi-Final. The Sixers have struggled to take wickets against the Scorchers, so Aley’s wicket taking ability will be pivotal to Sydney’s chances.