Brisbane Heat have stamped their authority on the new Rebel WBBL season early, thrashing Sydney Sixers by 92 runs at North Sydney Oval.
A half-century from Beth Mooney laid the foundation before a blazing cameo from Laura Harris helped the Heat to 5-165.
A superb display with the ball – including three wickets in four balls to teenager leggie Amelia Kerr – then ensured the replay of last year’s decider went firmly in the favour of the defending champions, as the Sixers were rolled for just 73.
Electing to bat first, the Heat got off to a flier as Mooney looked to attack early, the score racing along to 0-47 at the end of the power play.
A nice piece of fielding from Lauren Smith had Kirby Short run out on 17, and when Grace Harris (3) suffered the same fate two overs later, the Sixers managed to apply the brakes to Mooney’s attack.
New Kiwi import Maddy Green made a promising start to her Heat career, reaching the boundary twice and clearing it once in a 14-ball 21, but the wickets continued to fall as Jess Jonassen (6) and Sammy-Jo Johnson fell cheaply.
Mooney looked to up the ante and passed her half-century, but a brilliant piece of work behind the stumps from Alyssa Healy had the left-hander stumped one ball later.
At 6-115 with just four overs remaining, the Heat were in serious danger of squandering their strong start.
Then, Laura Harris entered the fray. While not as renowned for her big hitting as her younger sister Grace, what Harris did next turned the match on its head.
She took 19 runs from five balls in the 18th over, including a massive six into the North Sydney stands, continuing to attack as she finished unbeaten on 36 from 17 and lifted the Heat to 6-165.
As the wickets tumbled, it was 19-year-old New Zealand leg-spinner Kerr in the thick of the action collecting three wickets in four balls – including a superb wrong’un to bowl Silver-Holmes – missing out on a hat-trick by the narrowest of margins.
She finished with 3-8 from three overs, capping a superb night for the spinners as Jonassen (2-12) and Harris (2-15) also starred.
The Heat are back in action at North Sydney Oval on Saturday, taking on Sydney Thunder at 2pm AEDT.