Adelaide Strikers have sent a message to their women's Big Bash rivals, launching their hunt for a maiden title with a comprehensive 36-run win over Brisbane Heat.
New Zealand international Sophie Devine blitzed her way to 89 off 55 balls to set up a strong target of 173 but it was the Strikers' suffocating bowling performance that impressed most at Melbourne's Junction Oval on Sunday.
Heat opener Beth Mooney (63 not out), the WBBL's most prolific run-scorer, steadied the ship along with Kirby Short (62 not out) after early wickets left the Heat reeling at 2-9. With some good time spent at the crease the pair will look to build on their performances next weekend with clashes against the Scorchers and Thunder.
But the pair were unable to break the shackles imposed by a disciplined and versatile Strikers attack that looms as perhaps the competition's strongest.
"It's a funny one. Looking back now when you see they've got two batters not out, you do wonder could they have had more of a crack," Devine said.
The Strikers lost the key wicket of Suzie Bates - the world's No.1 ranked T20 batter - for just one courtesy of a superb direct-hit runout from Short.
But fellow New Zealander Devine was quick to assert herself, smashing five sixes in a dominant knock aided by contributions from Bridget Patterson (31) and Tegan McPharlin (30).
On a positive note for the Heat, South African International Sune Luus made her debut in teal. The leg-spinning all-rounder showed promise with the ball and should prove to be a match winner throughout WBBL04.
The Heat will fly to Brisbane for a week of training in preparation for next weekend's clashes with the Scorchers and Thunder.