Recent Match Report – Strikers vs Sixers Final 2022/23

Recent Match Report - Strikers vs Sixers Final 2022/23

Adelaide Strikers 5 for 147 (Dottin 52*, Mack 31, Ecclestone 2-19) beat Sydney Sixers 137 (Maitlan Brown 34, Perry 33, Bolton 32, Darcie Brown 2-15, Dottin 2-30) by 10 runs

Adelaide Strikers wanted redemption. And they got it. Deandra Dottin produced a starring all-round performance and Darcie Brown’s pace claimed two key wickets as Sydney Sixers’ record-breaking 11 wins in the regular season came up short as they suffered a dramatic top-order collapse.

After finishing runners-up twice in the last three seasons, Strikers finally got their hands on the WBBL trophy for the first time in front of a Sixers-dominated crowd of 6478 at the North Sydney Oval.

Strikers had made a positive start with the bat with a 51-run opening stand before struggling through the middle phase of the innings, including a power surge that brought just seven runs and two wickets. However, Dottin overcame her own struggles – including being caught off an Ellyse Perry no-ball on 8 – and was chiefly responsible for the 34 runs coming off the last three overs.
Still, a target of 148 did not feel like enough to challenge a Sixers line-up that had consistently scored runs this season. But, after a 15-minute delay due to problems caused by the setting sun, that notion was soon blown out of the water: by the end of six overs they were 4 for 17. Nicole Bolton, in her final game before retirement, and Perry forged a recovery but after they removed both in quick succession, it always felt as though Strikers had just enough to play with.

Dottin’s charmed life
Dottin may have sensed it was her day. Before she reached double figures there had been two lives. The first came on 1 when a drive evaded Bolton at backward point as she went on-handed to her left. Two balls later, while not a chance as such, Kate Peterson sent down a no-ball full-toss which Dottin clubbed to deep square leg. Then came the most obvious reprieve when she lofted to mid-off only to find out Perry had not had her foot behind the line. Despite all that, Dottin reached the final three overs with 26 off 25 balls before finding her range with sixes off Peterson and Ash Gardner.

Two overs of madness
Alyssa Healy could have been run out in the first over of the chase. But then things really turned wild. The third over of the innings from Brown included a dropped catch apiece by Bridget Patterson and Madeline Penna – both offered by Suzie Bates – before Penna redeemed herself off the final ball by clinging onto a rasping pull from Healy. That, though, was just the start. Dottin took the ball for the fifth over and ended with a double-wicket maiden. Bates chipped to deep midwicket and Gardner, the player of the tournament, sent a full-toss to mid-on.

Bolton’s finish
When Erin Burns, who has been a key figure in Sixers’ middle order, was stumped at the second attempt by Tegan McPharlin the batting was being dismantled. Before the final, Bolton had confirmed this would mark the end of her career. For a short while it looked like she might sign off in stunning fashion as she and Perry rebuilt Sixers’ from their early woes. When Bolton reverse-swept Tahlia McGrath then clubbed her through midwicket there was a sense of a swing in momentum, but a ball later Bolton dragged onto her stumps. When Perry fell to Brown next over, a full delivery fizzing through her drive, it was all but over. Brown would finish with 16 dots balls in her four overs.

Sixers fight to the end
To their immense credit, Sixers did not back down from the challenge. Sophie Ecclestone and Maitlan Brown threatened – with 14 coming off the first pver of the power surge – but a brilliant slower ball from Megan Schutt completely deceived Ecclestone. Brown kept on swinging to mean it got close enough to make Sixers wonder what could have been. But there was no denying Strikers their first title.

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