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Alyssa Healy finds top gear as Sydney Sixers open with victory

Alyssa Healy swings to the leg side Getty Images

Sydney Sixers 4 for 100 (Healy 57) beat Melbourne Stars 1 for 99 (Villani 54*)

Alyssa Healy's 27-ball 57 outdid Elyse Villani's powerful half-century as Sydney Sixers took the honours on a rain-affected opening night of the WBBL in Hobart.

In a game reduced to 11 overs a side, Healy's powerful display, which included 11 boundaries, ensured Sixers chased down a demanding target of 100 with four balls to spare. The back of the pursuit was broken when she took 20 off Annabel Sutherland in the seventh over, and though she was bowled off the pads by Sophie Day to create a few nervy moments, things did not derail.

Healy had a new WBBL opening partner with India's Shafali Verma joining her at the top while Ellyse Perry moved down to the middle order. Shafali was part of a 40-run opening stand in 3.5 overs but her contribution was just 8 off 10 before she missed a heave at Sutherland.

Conditions were tricky for bowlers and fielders throughout on what remained a very damp outfield for the duration of the game while the ball needed repeatedly drying. Kim Garth, the Ireland allrounder who now lives in Melbourne, emerged in credit with 1 for 16 from her three overs.

Stars had been put in to bat and their innings was dominated by Villani who picked up her form from last season and used the reverse sweep with great impact. The ninth and tenth overs went for 31 runs combined as Meg Lanning hit three boundaries off Stella Campbell and then Villani took Perry for two fours and a six.

The one wicket to fall was that of Sutherland, opening for the first time in the WBBL, when she was run out by a brilliant side-on direct hit from Shafali who is not renowned for her work on the field.

Last season's tournament had also suffered from a wet start with 12 of the first 15 matches significantly affected by the weather and eight of them were no results.

The first 20 games of this year's tournament will be played in Tasmania following the restructuring of the fixtures due to Covid-related border closures. The competition then moves to Adelaide, Perth and Mackay. For the first time, the entire 59-game season will be broadcast on television.

Sixers Wmn 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st40AJ HealyShafali Verma
2nd43AJ HealyA Gardner
3rd6AJ HealyEA Perry
4th6NE BoltonEA Perry
5th5NE BoltonAR Reakes