Sydney Sixers women 6 for 169 (Healy 77, McGlashan 38, Burns 2-26) beat Hobart Hurricanes women 66 (van Niekerk 3-15, Gardner 2-9) by 103 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Like they did in the first edition of the Women's Big Bash League, the Sydney Sixers thrashed the Hobart Hurricanes to book their spot in the final. Last year, the margin was ten wickets (Duckworth-Lewis method) and this time, under the scorching Brisbane sun, it was equally emphatic: 103 runs.
Alyssa Healy's 77 provided the backbone of a charge to 169, before the Hurricanes were bowled out for just 66. The Sixers will travel to Perth to face the Scorchers on Sunday and, if their male counterparts beat the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba, only two clubs will compete the finals.
A Healy hurricane
Healy has reveled as captain since she took over from an injured Ellyse Perry. In her first game as stand-in captain, she made 84 off 56 against the Melbourne Renegades. Here, she was even more belligerent, making a magnificent 77 off 45 balls before cutting Hayley Matthews to point in the 13th over.
Having opted to bat first, Healy thumped Amy Satterthwaite over long-on for six in the second over and by the time Ashleigh Gardner became the second batsman to be dismissed, caught brilliantly at point, Healy had scored 41 of the Sixers' 49 runs. In the following over, she brought up her half-century with a pull over midwicket for six, and went on to play a cover drive, late cut and reverse sweeps for boundaries. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of her innings, however, was her running between the wickets and the ability to turn ones into twos.
She was dismissed with the Sixers on 108, and resourceful knocks from Sara McGlashan (38), who was carrying a hamstring injury, and Marizanne Kapp (36 not out), left the Hurricanes with a stiff target of 170.
Sixers' fabulous fielding
Gardner has been the competition's break-out star this season, largely due to the three half-centuries that have underpinned her brilliant batting efforts. But her bowling - she took her ninth and tenth wickets of the season, including the vital one of Hayley Matthews for a duck - and fielding have been excellent, too. It was a moment of magic from Gardner that nipped a solid start from the Hurricanes in the bud. She lobbed an off-break up at Erin Burns and it was drilled hard back at her, but barely a foot off the ground. She dropped low in her follow-through and took a fine catch, which was so tight that it had to be reviewed.
That was not the last of the Sixers' superb interventions in the field. Each of the seam bowlers hammered away with a consistent line and length, while the spinners were tough to get away. Angela Reakes took an excellent catch in the deep to get rid of Emma Thompson, but it was the run-outs of Heather Knight and Amy Satterthwaite - with sharp throws from Kim Garth and Dane van Niekerk (the latter a direct hit) - that guaranteed the Hurricanes would fall short.
And yet… Hobart self-destruct
Hobart were out-classed but they also contributed to their own downfall. Healy was dropped on 18 by Brooke Hepburn at mid-on, and on 60 by Thompson at short third man, while Kapp was given a life on 13. With the bat, Satterthwaite was responsible for the run-outs of Knight and herself. They are the Hurricanes' most reliable batsmen and once they fell, there was no way back for the side.
The best two teams in the final
This was a complete performance from the Sixers and showed the intimidating depth in the squad. Amy Jones, the England international, could not make the side for this, while Lisa Sthalekar's experience was not required either. Perry has been ruled out of the final but, given the Sixers' dominance in the league stages and their performance today, the final against the Scorchers could serve up a humdinger.
Will Macpherson writes on cricket for the Guardian, ESPNcricinfo and All Out Cricket. @willis_macp