Not even a blistering knock from Ashleigh Gardner could give the Sydney Sixers a much-needed WBBL victory over the Brisbane Heat.
The Australian allrounder belted an unbeaten 86 – the second best Twenty20 score of her career – but the Heat were barely troubled in chasing down the Sixers’ competitive total of 2-159.
Australian stars Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry struggled for momentum opening the batting, but a late flurry from Gardner, which included five sixes, gave the Sixers something to defend.
But the Heat’s top-order, led by opener Grace Harris’ 54, all contributed in the eight-wicket win at Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide on Tuesday.
Some smart batting from Georgia Voll (48 not out) and Laura Kimmince (23 not out) eased the Heat home to their sixth win of the tournament with nine balls to spare.
It leaves the star-studded Sixers vulnerable in fourth on the table, but they do have a game in hand on the Melbourne Stars in fifth.
In Tuesday’s other game, the Adelaide Strikers piled more pain on battling defending champions the Sydney Thunder.
The Strikers took care of the Thunder by 18 runs after making 4-176 – their biggest total of this season’s tournament.
South African stars Dane Van Niekerk and Laura Wolvaardt did the damage with some spectacular hitting.
Opener Van Niekerk came out swinging with 58, before Wolvaardt took it up another notch by compiling 54 from 32 balls.
Despite solid knocks from Tahlia Wilson (42) and Phoebe Litchfield (40), the Thunder never looked like chasing down the target.
But rising English star Issy Wong did give the Thunder plenty to cheer about late as she produced one of the best cameos of the season.
The 19-year-old went ballistic after coming in at No.5 at the end of the 14th, smashing six sixes in her 43 from 17 balls.
It capped off an excellent all-round performance from Wong, who bowled two maidens to briefly tie down the Strikers batters.