Sydney Sixers 7 for 138 (Gardner 54) tied with Sydney Thunder 6 for 138 (Taylor 68) Super OverSydney Thunder 1 for 8 tied with Sydney Sixers 3 for 8 but won on boundary count Scorecard
In the end, not even a Super Over could separate the Sydney Smash.
Having elected to bat, the Sydney Sixers made 138. In reply, the Sydney Thunder managed the same. In the Super Over, the Thunder made eight, then the Sixers did too.
Confusion reigned, but the Thunder had won - on the basis that they had hit more boundaries in the 40 overs (16) than the Sixers (14). So, in a game normally won by a number of runs or wickets, the Sydney Thunder had beaten the Sydney Sixers by two boundaries. Eh?
The first 40 overs had been an undulating, exciting advert for the Women's BBL, and the Super Over had the national news on Channel Ten delayed - who knows how many new fans will have stumbled across the game as a result - and as many as 17,000 people watching at the ground.
The main event
The 40 overs that were unable to separate the two sides were dominated by fine innings from two top-order batsmen, and the timing of their wickets decided the outcome.
First came Ashleigh Gardner, whose stellar competition continued. She came to the crease in the first over with Alyssa Healy gone, and scored a fine 54 from 41 balls, including sixes down the ground and to cow corner. She shared a stand of 65 with Sara McGlashan, who was scratchy early on but grew into her innings. When McGlashan was caught and bowled by Erin Osborne, though, they lost five for 30 from the final 21 balls. Gardner was stumped by Alex Blackwell - making a rare appearance as a wicketkeeper - off Stafanie Taylor (who had earlier taken another key wicket, Elysse Perry), and Sixers hopes of making 150 were over.
Taylor's excellent game continued as she made 68, he first half-century of the season, to dominate the chase. Blackwell, who fell to the excellent Kim Garth, then Harmanpreet Kaur chipped in, but Taylor rode her luck (she was dropped three times) to keep her team in it and looked to be guiding them to victory. The late introduction of Lisa Sthalekar in the 15th over put the brakes on the Thunder as she picked up two wickets, then Taylor fell slogging Sarah Aley in the penultimate over. Naomi Stalenberg and Osborne could only manage seven of the eight they needed from the final over; Super Over it was.
So, how did that Super Over pan out, then? The Thunder batted first. Garth, an Associate rookie and replacement for the absent South African duo Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk, limited Taylor - who earlier made an excellent 68 before falling in the final over - and Rachael Haynes, who was run out off the last ball, to just eight. Garth, continuing the beautiful line and length she had bowled when taking 17 for 1 earlier) had denied them any boundaries, which was a superb effort.
Knowing that they had fewer boundaries in regular tim, the Sixers knew they needed nine to win, but the Thunder knew eight would work for them. Healy smote Rene Farrell down the ground for four, but was then carelessly run out. Perry found two through cover, then was caught at long-on. Needing three off the last two, Angela Reakes was run out turning for a second. Gardner, so brilliant earlier, could only scramble her first ball for a single. No one really understood why, but it was not enough.
What it all means
Before the Sydney Smash, the Sixers had won three games (in a run of seven straight victories). The Sixers still sit four points clear at the top of the table, and need to win one of their two remaining fixtures to qualify for a semi-final. The Thunder are sixth, and their hopes of defending their title remain alive.