The Sixers have been a notable absentee from the WBBL’s last three Finals campaigns having reached the Finals in each of its first four seasons, a gold streak that included back-to-back titles.
WBBL’s campaign was | 07 are undoubtedly at rock bottom, winning just four matches for the season and finishing eighth after losing their last six matches, despite boasting of what was, on paper, a team full of talent.
Much of that talent returned to WBBL| 08 The only significant changes were the arrival of new coach Charlotte Edwards, who took over from Ben Sawyer after his departure to coach the New Zealand women, and the recruitment of two new imports in Sophie Ecclestone and Susie Bates.
But a return to normalcy after two years in hubs, along with lessons learned from past seasons and some je ne sais quoi in the current team dynamic, all came together into the perfect recipe for success at WBBL|WBBL| 08.
“There was a feeling before we started playing that everyone was really looking forward to (this season) and they felt refreshed and ready to go,” Perry told reporters in Sydney on Friday.
“I think we learned a lot from last year too and there’s nothing wrong with being humble about things sometimes, I think you take a lot from that.
“It was definitely a challenge on the field (but) off the field we still really enjoyed the time we had together.
“I think our group really thrives on being able to come home and away from cricket for a bit, so this year has been really refreshing.
“I think one of the main things about our season is how much we enjoy each other’s company when we get a chance to hang out.
“So it culminated in it being a really interesting season for us this year.”
The Sixers lost just two games as they finished at the top of the table and claimed a direct path to the final at home.
Of the two games they lost, one fell against the Strikers on the last ball and resulted in defeat three times.
In that game at Caren Rolton Oval, the Sixers were faltering at 6-94 and chasing 143 before Erin Burns’ 38-ball 71 stole a miraculous winning streak.
After that game, Allrounder Ashleigh Gardner said the nature of that defeat showed the shift in the Sixers’ mindset this season.
Gardner told cricket.com.au: “We knew we weren’t that far and we were really fighting, where I think in retrospect we would have probably fallen into a heap”.
“I just think the spirits are high. We’re all having fun. We all play with a smile on our faces, which means in the end you’re probably enjoying it, which we probably didn’t have last year.”
While the Strikers played a dramatic challenge against the Heat on Thursday in Adelaide before boarding a 6am flight to Sydney, the Sixers had precious time to recover and prepare as they waited to see who their opponent would be.
Some commentators suggested that the week off might halt the momentum before the final, but Berry said her team took advantage of it.
“We were really lucky to have a week in the house,” she said.
“I think given the intensity of the competition and the number of games we’ve played in such a short period of time, this week is a real highlight.
“Having played last weekend we feel close and also having the chance to train and work on what you want this week is probably unique because of the competition and often you don’t have the chance to work on things, you just play.
“I think everyone got a chance to say work on something or get what they need… It was also just a really great opportunity to spend more time together.
“There were a lot of smiles, some good laughs but also just an awareness of making the most of this week and feeling good and fresh for Saturday.”
A crowd is expected to gather at the North Sydney Oval on Saturday evening, with the first ball thrown at 5.20pm AEST.
WBBL | 08 finals
Remover: The Brisbane Heat beat the Hobart Hurricanes by 44 innings
Challenger: Adelaide Strikers defeated Brisbane Heat by six wickets
the last: Sydney Sixers – Adelaide Strikers | North Sydney Oval | November 26th at 5.20pm EDT
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