Hot Take: Ellyse Perry let the Sydney Sixers down this season.
[Ed: What? Have you gone you mad?]
Yes… but there is method in my madness, so let me explain!
Prior to this season, Perry the batsman had a problem in Twenty20 – although her big innings were always scored at a respectable Strike Rate, she invariably tended to start very slowly, often scoring her first 25 runs at a Strike Rate pushing as low as 50. This meant that if she got out for 25, she’d chewed up a lot of balls in the process, putting big pressure on the rest of the team.
However, this WBBL season was different – she found a way of adjusting mentally, and almost “starting her innings in the middle”, which allowed her to score at 100+ from the off; and this is one of the reasons she was able to score those two hundreds and six fifties which all-but guaranteed her the Player of the Tournament award well before we got to the business end of the competition.
But, but, but… then came the final – the big match – the one that mattered… and who should walk out to open the batting for the Sixers but the old Ellyse Perry. At the end of the powerplay, she was 7 off 15 balls, and the lack of momentum up top was arguably a critical factor in tipping the balance of what turned out to be a very close game away from the Sixers. It shouldn’t take away from the fact that Perry obviously had an outstanding season overall, but when you buy a cake, you expect icing on the top… and for once Perry’s cake didn’t.
The New Zealand opening pair of Sophie Devine, who is ranked in our list at number 2, and Suzie Bates, ranked at 7, both had good returns, though the Adelaide Strikers’ season overall was a disappointment – their main achievement being definitive proof that packing your bowling line-up doesn’t work in T20 – you need batsmen, not a tail that starts at 3!
Elsewhere, the highest ranked English players were Heather Knight at 9, and Danni Wyatt at 13 – both seem to always play well in Australia, which could be good news for England at next year’s World Twenty20.
It is also interesting to see Sophie Molineux ranked so highly at 14 – Raf picked her as One To Watch in 2019 for the Guardian at New Year, but obviously mainly for her bowling not her batting. Arguably, Australia’s batting is so strong, they don’t need to worry too much about how well the bowlers bat, but nonetheless she is looking like she could be very useful for the Southern Stars over the next few years, maybe coming in at 7 or 8 with a couple of overs to go.
|1. Ellyse Perry (Sydney Sixers)||16||777||121|
|2. Sophie Devine (Adelaide Strikers)||13||556||137|
|3. Alyssa Healy (Sydney Sixers)||16||445||142|
|4. Beth Mooney (Brisbane Heat)||16||486||128|
|5. Grace Harris (Brisbane Heat)||16||374||148|
|6. Meg Lanning (Perth Scorchers)||9||389||137|
|7. Suzie Bates (Adelaide Strikers)||14||421||112|
|8. Smriti Mandhana (Hobart Hurricanes)||13||318||145|
|9. Heather Knight (Hobart Hurricanes)||13||374||122|
|10. Elyse Villani (Perth Scorchers)||11||403||113|
|11. Rachel Priest (Sydney Thunder)||15||338||134|
|12. Rachael Haynes (Sydney Thunder)||13||376||115|
|13. Danni Wyatt (Melbourne Renegades)||14||368||112|
|14. Sophie Molineux (Melbourne Renegades)||14||354||115|
|15. Harmanpreet Kaur (Sydney Thunder)||13||310||127|
|16. Ashleigh Gardner (Sydney Sixers)||16||337||115|
|17. Lizelle Lee (Melbourne Stars)||14||276||137|
|18. Alex Blackwell (Sydney Thunder)||15||301||122|
|19. Sammy-Jo Johnson (Brisbane Heat)||16||260||140|
|20. Tahlia McGrath (Adelaide Strikers)||14||276||126|
Batting Ranking = Runs * Strike Rate