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WBBL round-up: Heat take low-scorer, Darcie Brown stars as Strikers maintain finals push

Sydney Sixers slipped further out of contention while Hobart Hurricanes' poor season with the bat continued

Courtney Sippel was outstanding with the new ball, Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Sixers, WBBL, Mackay, November 13, 2021

Courtney Sippel was outstanding with the new ball  •  Getty Images

Brisbane Heat 7 for 92 (Redmayne 19, Cheatle 3-16) beat Sydney Sixers 7 for 91 (Bolton 25, Jonassen 3-15) by three wickets
Brisbane Heat strengthened their hold on a finals berth - and kept themselves in the hunt for top spot - while at the same time pushed Sydney Sixers closer to the exit as they held their nerve in a low-scoring contest.
The ball dominated throughout and though Heat had plenty of overs to spare (5.5) they were well into the lower order when Nadine de Klerk hit the winning runs. Left-armer Lauren Cheatle had given Sixers hope, adding to her first-over removal of Grace Harris with two further wickets in the space of four balls in the fifth over, as Heat slid from 1 for 34 to 4 for 37 when Maitlan Brown produced a stunning delivery to remove Anneke Bosch.
Jess Jonassen's departure, caught at square leg against Ash Gardner, further buoyed Sixers before a crucial moment came with 19 runs needed when Laura Kimmince was caught at mid-on but Ellyse Perry, who went for 23 in two overs, had overstepped. Next over Kimmince launched a six off Stella Campbell and though she was lbw next ball attempting a reverse sweep, the target was into single figures.
Sixers had been set back early by a superb spell from Courtney Sippel, whose 2 for 12 included a maiden and 15 dot balls. She removed Alyssa Healy with her first delivery as the ball nipped away although Healy did not think she had hit it, and five balls later, Gardner pulled to deep square leg.
Jonassen then had Perry caught behind cutting in the sixth over and Shafali Verma, having been given an early life when Poonam Yadav and Jonassen left a catch to each other, was taken at long-on off Poonam to leave them 4 for 34. Nicole Bolton played neatly before falling to a stunning catch by Mikayla Hinkley at mid-off and all the lower order could do was bat out the overs. The entire innings produced just three boundaries, the joint-lowest ever in the WBBL, but in the end Sixers weren't that short of having enough.
Adelaide Strikers 4 for 142 (van Niekerk 44, McGrath 38*, Strano 2-23) beat Hobart Hurricanes 94 (du Preez 21, Brown 3-19, Wellington 2-15) by 48 runs
Darcie Brown played a starring role as Adelaide Strikers maintained their push for a place in the finals with a resounding 48-run victory in Mackay.
Brown removed Hobart Hurricanes' opening pair in her first spell before returning to take Richa Ghosh's off stump with a terrific delivery. Between those incisions, Tahlia McGrath had removed the dangerous Mignon du Preez, and Nicola Carey was run out by a direct hit from Amanda-Jade Wellington, moments after being dropped, as Hurricanes crashed to 5 for 44 inside ten overs. It did not get any better from there as the legspin of Wellington and Dane van Niekerk went through the lower order.
Strikers had not hit top gear with the bat until Bridget Patterson struck 25 off 17 balls in the closing stages to form a stand of 54 in 5.5 overs with McGrath. The final over from Carey cost 17 runs including two boundaries by McGrath, a no-ball, a wide and a six by Patterson. van Niekerk's consistent form continued with 44 off 38 balls after Katie Mack had been cleaned up in the first over of the game by a good delivery from Tayla Vlaeminck, who took 1 for 16 off her four overs, while Molly Strano kept a lid on the middle order with 2 for 23.