Ellyse Perry answered and then fuelled her critics in equal measure as the Melbourne Renegades easily beat the Sydney Sixers.
Six days after Sixers coach Ben Sawyer fiercely defended Perry’s form, the Sydney captain did not bowl herself in Sunday’s seven-wicket loss at Launceston’s University of Tasmania Stadium.
It is only the sixth time in Perry’s 87 WBBL games that the star Australian all-rounder has not bowled and again puts the focus on her below-par form with the ball.
The Sixers said Perry was not injured and her not bowling was a tactical decision.
Perry’s unbeaten 50 from 51 balls rescued the Sixers’ inning after they had crashed to 3-12 in the opening overs, partnering with Nicole Bolton (38) for an 80-run stand that was the backbone of their 4-118.
It never looked enough as Renegades opener Eve Jones top-scored with 38 and Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur finished the game with successive sixes at the end of the 17th over.
Kaur, who was named player of the match after claiming 2-17 with the ball, ended unbeaten on 35 from 29 balls as the Renegades ended 3-120.
Earlier, Darcie Brown’s hat-trick was not enough to save the Adelaide Strikers at Launceston’s Invermay Park as the Brisbane Heat inflicted their first loss of the season by five runs.
Brown’s hat-trick is the first by an Adelaide player in the WBBL and the sixth in the competition’s history.
The teenager, who made her Australian Test debut last month, dismissed Georgia Redmayne (28), Ellie Johnston (9) and Laura Kimmince (0) in the sixth over as the Heat reached 5-104 batting first in the weather-affected match, which was reduced to 11 overs per side.
“It’s pretty cool – I’ve never taken a hat-trick before,” Brown said.
“It would have been better to cap it off with a win.”
The Strikers were in control at 0-68 in the eighth over before Heat captain Jess Jonassen struck with consecutive deliveries, including the vital wicket of Tahlia McGrath for a golden duck.
The Heat snatched the initiative from that point on with opening bowler Nicola Hancock steering Brisbane home as the Strikers ended on 4-99.
In Sunday’s final game, Sophie Devine belted the third hundred of her WBBL career as the Perth Scorchers thrashed defending champions Sydney Thunder by 81 runs.
Devine smashed six sixes and eight fours on her way to 101 off 60 deliveries, as the Scorchers made 2-186 from their 20 overs – their second-highest WBBL total.
The New Zealand allrounder combined with Australian opener Beth Mooney (65 off 54) in a 173-run opening stand – the second-best partnership in WBBL history, only bettered by Perry and Alyssa Healy’s 199-run stand in Perth for the Sixers in 2019.
The Thunder could only make 9-105 in reply, with leg-spinner Alana King continuing her fine tournament with a career-best 4-11 off her four overs.
The results mean the Heat top the ladder on run rate, one of five teams on five points with two wins.
The tournament continues on Tuesday with the Thunder looking to bounce back against the Melbourne Stars while the Heat take on Hobart.