Sydney Sixers remain firm favourites to defend their WBBL crown despite ending their season on a sour note with a dead-rubber loss to Melbourne Stars.
The minor premiers suffered a rare batting collapse at the MCG, setting a target of just 93 which the Stars chased with five wickets and 20 balls to spare.
Alyssa Healy’s quickfire 35 got the Sixers off to a strong start but fellow World Cup hero Ellyse Perry was unable to continue her incredible form, trapped lbw on six by Nicola Hancock.
The Sixers managed just 42 runs for their last eight wickets as legspinner Alana King snared 3-13 to claim player of the match honours.
Erin Osborne’s unbeaten 34 steered the hosts to a comfortable victory, giving the Stars some cause for cheer after a disappointing seventh-placed finish.
While it wasn’t the finish the Sixers would have liked, their firepower remains the envy of the competition heading into the finals.
Perry finished the regular season with a record 690 runs at 86.25, having become the first Big Bash player – male or female – to reach 2000 runs.
The gun allrounder carried her bat five times, scored two hundreds and five fifties while also snaring nine wickets.
Wicketkeeper-batter Healy wasn’t far behind, scoring 426 runs at 35.50, while South African duo Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk were among the leading wicket-takers.
The Sixers will face Melbourne Renegades in a semi-final clash at Sydney’s Drummoyne Oval next Saturday, only days after the Sixers scored a 29-run victory.
Sydney Thunder play Brisbane Heat in the other semi as part of a double-header, with the winners to meet in the decider on Australia Day.
It will be the first time the WBBL will host stand-alone finals – no longer playing as curtain-raisers for men’s BBL matches.
WBBL FINALS SCHEDULE
* SATURDAY JANUARY 19
First semi-final, Sydney Thunder v Brisbane Heat at Drummoyne Oval, 10.40am
Second semi-final, Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Renegades at Drummoyne Oval, 1.50pm
* SATURDAY JANUARY 26
Final, Thunder/Heat v Sixers/Renegades, venue TBC