Peerless Ellyse Perry has produced a stunning all-round masterclass to propel the Sydney Sixers to a comprehensive 49-run demolition of hometown rival Sydney Thunder in a lopsided WBBL season opener.
Last summer's record-breaker was named Player of the Match for an incredible 16th time on Friday, smoking 81 to pace the Sixers' 6-192 before snaring Thunder openers Rachel Priest and Naomi Stalenberg in her first over, finishing with 2-7 as the visitors were restricted to 9-143 in reply at North Sydney Oval.
"In a big game like this, the first one of the season, there was a big crowd, it was broadcast ... I thought we held our nerve really well," Perry said.
"More than anything it was nice to see our young girls do well, like Stella Campbell and Maddy Darke - they really had a crack.
"Seeing them do what they did, it gives the whole team a lift."
Perry slashed the opening ball of the tournament off South African quick Shabnim Ismail through the covers for four to set a sizzling tone, combining with Alyssa Healy for a belligerent 83-run opening stand.
The Thunder never really recovered from the 57-ball Perry-Healy show which finally ended when Healy, who notched a women's T20I record 148 (not out) against Sri Lanka earlier this month, skied a catch to Alex Blackwell for 42.
No.3 Ash Gardner (28) also holed out off spinner Nida Dair (2-44), one of four first-gamers for the new-look Thunder and the first Pakistani to play in the competition.
Perry was run out in sight of her third WBBL ton but the damage was done.
The damage got worse when the Thunder slumped to 3-25 in response and were never realistically in contention from then on.
36-year-old Blackwell (56) and year-10 high school student Phoebe Litchfield (26) combined for an enterprising 58-run fourth-wicket union of the sport's past and future - Litchfield wasn't even born when Blackwell made her debut for Australia.
Litchfield was trapped leg-before to a looping slower ball from fellow 16-year-old Hayley Silver-Holmes before Sarah Aley (3-28) ripped into the Thunder's middle order.
The Sixers' dominance with bat, ball and in the field suggests, only one game in, they will again take some beating this season.
Australian Associated Press