Sydney Sixers 5 for 124 (Healy 40, Shrubsole 2-17) beat Perth Scorchers 7 for 117 (Brunt 35*, Aley 4-23) by seven runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
In the first WBBL final, the Sydney Sixers posted an underpar total but scrapped for their lives and took the game to the final over before losing to their crosstown rivals. This time, they again batted first - as they prefer to - and did not appear to have made enough, but they fielded like demons and bowled dry to beat the Perth Scorchers by seven runs. For much of the game the Scorchers had been cruising to victory, but the tournament's top two teams served up a veritable classic.
As Elyse Villani and Nicole Bolton got the Scorchers off to another fine start, followed by Suzie Bates joining Bolton to consolidate, the Sixers' 124 - the result of some superb strangling from the hosts, led by Anya Shrubsole - never looked enough. But an outstanding performance from Sarah Aley, the competition's leading wicket-taker of the season (and ever), alongside some waspish fielding by Bates and Lauren Ebsary led the Sixers' fightback.
Still, the game made it to the final over as Katherine Brunt walloped a six - the first of the match - down the ground off the final ball of Aley's spell, leaving the Scorchers needing 16. She was dropped at deep midwicket off the fourth ball of that last over, but the Scorchers could only take eight off Lauren Smith's offspin. In brutal 38-degree conditions, Brunt fell to her knees in disappointment as the Sixers celebrated.
Both teams had a chance to produce the blueprint of their semi-final success, and with the Sixers wanting to bat, and the Scorchers preferring to field, the toss suited everyone.
Bates knew that the Scorchers' best chance was to dismiss her opposite number Alyssa Healy - who was in the form of her life having made 161 runs in her previous two innings - early and, from the first ball of the match, Healy's flick just evaded the fingers of midwicket. When she drove the next ball brilliantly through the offside for four, Bates must have wondered if the Scorchers' chance was gone. Healy smacked down the ground, and again through cover, particularity picking on Emma King's spin, and looked in ominous form.
But her partners struggled. Shrubsole had Dane van Niekerk caught behind with her fourth ball, and her opening two overs cost just one each. Ashleigh Gardner, after a brilliant tournament, struggled badly with her timing and was bowled by Bates just before halfway. An over later Healy - feeling under pressure to push the game on - miscued Piepa Cleary into the offside. She left having made 40 of the 70 runs, but only having faced 27 of the 65 legal deliveries.
The Scorchers' stall was on, but no one told that to Marizanne Kapp, who dragged Sixers to 124. Sara McGlashan and Angela Reakes struggled for timing, but Kapp found the fence late in the innings through cover and square leg. Shrubsole returned for the final over and bowled Reakes to cap a performance that should have been enough to win the game.
And as Villani drove down the ground and Bolton stroked through cover, it certainly looked that way. But Aley, who remarkably remains uncapped (although perhaps not for long) forced Villani to hit straight to long-on off the last ball of the Powerplay, and the Scorchers slowed after her dismissal. Smith then produced a brilliant run-out, diving at mid-off to dismiss Bates. Soon enough Kim Garth, the excellent Irish rookie who has shone in the second half of the tournament, had Bolton caught at mid-off and then Aley bowled Heather Graham. Next over Ebsary and Brunt found themselves at the same end as Kapp and Smith combined to run them out. Brunt, promoted to No. 4, was the last hope, but Aley's excellent 19th over - in which she bowled Chloe Piparo and Shrubsole off consecutive balls - was just enough.
The Sixers thus proved that they were the strongest and deepest squad in the tournament, given in the absence of Ellyse Perry and Lisa Sthalekar they secured a superb come-from-behind win and a well-deserved title, burying the demons of 2016 in the process.