Sydney Sixers 164 for 6 (Perry 50, Tryon 41, Matthews 3-17) beat Melbourne Renegades 158 for 9 (Beaumont 43, Wareham 30, Cheatle 2-23, Brown 2-26) by 6 runs
Defending 164, the winless Sixers were staring down the barrel of their fourth straight defeat when Renegades openers Tammy Beaumont and Hayley Matthews blazed a rapid half-century stand.
Beaumont was in a belligerent mood as she smashed three boundaries off seamer Jess Kerr in the first over. Matthews was intent on feeding Beaumont the strike, but it led to her dismissal after she hit a slower ball from Brown to midwicket after trying to poke onto the leg-side.
Brown then dismissed Beaumont in the game-changing seventh over with a short-pitched delivery as Sixers’ confidence grew and they tore through Renegades’ middle-order.
But there was a late twist when Georgia Wareham and Sarah Coyte clubbed 26 runs off the 18th over and it came down to the final over with Renegades needing 13 runs for a remarkable victory.
But offspinner Ashleigh Gardner kept her cool at the death and Sixers, last season’s finalists, should feel relieved having been the last team in the competition to register a victory.
Without the formidable Healy, Sixers’ top-order have struggled in the powerplay and they looked to out of form opener Suzie Bates to turn their fortunes around after electing to bat.
Bates started well and hit an attractive cover drive to the boundary off seamer Georgia Prestwidge as she reached double figures for the first time this season.
But Bates frustratingly fell in the next over when she was unable to clear the in-field and hit offspinner Matthews to mid-off. Shackled by Matthews’ accuracy, Sixers once again didn’t make the most of the powerplay but unlike previous games they had most of their wickets intact.
Perry and Gardner combined for a 68-run partnership to lay a platform for Sixers. Gardner used her feet effectively against legspinner Wareham, while Perry continued her strong start to the season by targeting midwicket to devastating effect as she notched a half-century.
Renegades didn’t help their cause with a ragged effort in the field marked by sloppy fielding in the deep leading to several boundaries. But they clawed back with the wickets of Gardner and Perry as Sixers were in danger of a below par score on a batting friendly surface.
Renegades were left to rue a missed stumping by wicketkeeper Josie Dooley when Chloe Tryon was on 12 and she made them pay immediately with a six off Wareham.
Unleashing baseball-style clubbing, Tryon gave Sixers a desperately needed late spur with a trio of sixes in the final over to cap her breezy 41 off 16 balls.
It lifted Sixers to a solid total which they ultimately defended to claim a morale boosting win.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth