CRICKET: The Perth Scorchers have made a statement of intent with a stunning nine-wicket WBBL victory over in-form champions the Sydney Sixers in Wollongong.
Meanwhile in Albury the Sydney Thunder have made a statement of their own with a crushing eight-wicket victory over the Melbourne Stars.
The Sixers opened their campaign at the weekend with two hefty wins, but the Scorchers made light of the form book on Tuesday to dominate with bat and ball. Perth eased past the victory target with 10 balls to spare, earning some revenge for a seven-run defeat in last season's final.
Opener Elyse Villani scored an unbeaten 74 from 61 balls, hitting a six to win the match in emphatic fashion as the Scorchers reached 1-123 in reply to the Sixers' 8-122.
Player of the match Villani enjoyed valuable support from Nicole Bolton as the pair made short work of the bowling to put on 106 for the opening wicket.
Batting didn't seem so easy on the North Dalton Park deck for the Sixers who lost their three big-name players at the top of the order with just 47 runs on the board.
Openers Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry both fell to smart catches for 15, while recent centurion Ashleigh Gardner made only seven.
Only a quickfire 33 from 25 balls from Erin Burns helped the score past the 100 mark against a disciplined all-round Scorchers bowling effort.
Meanwhile a sparkling half-century from Rachael Haynes lifted the Sydney Thunder to an emphatic eight-wicket WBBL win over an outclassed Melbourne Stars in Albury.
The Australian captain was in vintage form on Tuesday with her hard-hitting 54 coming from just 33 deliveries, as the Thunder reached 2-115 to ease past the Stars' 8-114 with 5.3 of their 20 overs remaining.
Fellow opener Rachel Priest scored 38 from 35 balls in an 86-run opening stand as the pair threatened to go past the opposition tally on their own.
The Melbourne innings started promisingly with Lizelle Lee (31) and Anna Lanning (25) putting on 40 for the first wicket at better than a run-a-ball.
However, in a calamitous period, the Stars lost their way as six wickets fell for 33 runs.
Spinner Harmanpreet Kaur (3-16) and medium pacer Nicola Carey (2-17) inflicted most of the damage on the Thunder batting.
It was a second win from three outings for the Thunder who bounced back from their narrow Sydney derby loss on Sunday in style.
The Stars have two defeats from as many games, and meet the same opponents again on Saturday in Sydney.
SIXERS v SCORCHERS SCORECARD
A HEALY 15 (9) (c Ebsary b Brunt), E PERRY 15 (30) (c Sciver b King), A GARDNER 7 (12) (c Ebsary b King), E BURNS 33 (25) (c King b Graham), S MCGLASHAN 13 (15) (c Carmichael b Graham), D VAN NIEKERK 7 (10) (run out Newton), M KAPP 3 (3) (run out Brunt), L SMITH 13 (9) (not out), S ALEY 2 (3) (lbw Brunt), K GARTH 3 (6) (not out).
Sundries (2lb 7w 2nb) 11
Eight wickets for 122 Fall: 16 (Healy), 38 (Gardner), 47 (Perry), 89 (McGlashan), 100 (Burns), 102 (van Niekerk), 106 (Kapp), 107 (Aley).
Bowling: N Sciver 3-0-28-0 (1w), K Brunt 4-0-19-2 (2w 1nb), H Graham 4-0-20-2, P Cleary 4-0-25-0, E King 4-0-19-2 (1w), T Newton 1-0-9-0 (3w 1nb).
E VILLANI 74 (61) (not out), N BOLTON 42 (46) (c Kapp b Aley), N SCIVER 3 (5) (not out).
Sundries (2w 2nb) 4
One wicket for 123 Fall: 106 (Bolton).
Bowling: M Kapp 4-0-16-0 (1w), E Perry 2.2-0-22-0 (1w), S Aley 4-0-22-1 (1nb), K Garth 3-0-14-0, L Smith 3-0-33-0 (1nb), D van Niekerk 2-0-16-0.
STARS v THUNDER SCORECARD
L LEE c Kaur b Vakarewa 31 (25) A LANNING run out (Gibson) 25 (31) M DU PREEZ c Taylor b Carey 3 (4) G ELWISS b Carey 3 (7) K MACK lbw Kaur 1 (3) E OSBORNE b Kaur 25 (31) E KEARNEY lbw Gibson 0 (1) A KING c Farrell b Kaur 21 (19) K BEAMS not out 0 (0) Sundries (2lb 2w 1nb) 5
Eight wickets for 114
Fall: 40 (Lee), 51 (du Preez), 61 (Elwiss), 62 (Mack), 71 (Lanning), 73 (Kearney), 114 (King), 114 (Osborne).
Bowling: R Farrell 4-1-19-0, B Vakarewa 3-0-24-1 (1nb), L Griffith 1-0-14-0, M Gibson 4-0-20-1, N Carey 4-0-17-2, H Kaur 4-0-18-3 (1w).
R HAYNES c Lee b Kearney 54 (33) R PRIEST c Osborne b Triscari 38 (35) A BLACKWELL not out 3 (3) S TAYLOR not out 17 (16) Sundries (3w) 3
Two wickets for 115
Fall: 86 (Priest), 95 (Haynes).
Bowling: E Kearney 3-0-25-1, E Osborne 2.3-0-19-0 (2w), G Elwiss 3-0-25-0, K Beams 3-0-17-0, A King 2-0-19-0 (1w), G Triscari 1-0-10-1.
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