Singleton’s Maisy Gibson and her Sydney Thunder outfit have fallen just inches short of another grand final berth in the Women’s Big Bash League, after a final-ball catch from Haidee Birkett swung the contest in favour of the Brisbane Heat at Drummoyne Oval.
The WBBL04 semi-final came down to a final delivery, with Thunder batswoman Nicola Carvey needing a four to tie-up proceedings and send it to over-time, or a six to win the entire clash and put Sydney into the title decider.
It wasn’t to be for the Thunder however, as Birkett popped up to claim the sweetly timed slog just inches short of the boundary rope – despite the ball being bound for what would have been the winning six.
Carey and Gibson found themselves in the middle in the final run in to a potential victory, starring down a 13 run deficit, a number they set about breaking down with a single each early on.
Carey lanced a four out wide to put Sydney back in the running, before Gibson chipped in for a number of singles that put Thunder just four behind on the final ball – and the rest was in the hands of Brisbane.
Heat will now face the Sydney Sixers in the WBBL grand final on Australia Day, with the clash to be hosted at Drummoyne Oval.
After the match, Thunder captain Alex Blackwell said she “couldn’t be prouder of her team” despite narrowly missing out on a spot in the final.
“I’m obviously really disappointed we haven’t progressed but we’ve had some fantastic cricket this season,” said Blackwell after the match.
“We played a pretty good game today. We were probably a little slow in the middle with the bat and I thought they bowled with off-pace beautifully, especially not allowing us to hit to the short side. Full credit to them. We probably fessed up a couple of full tosses and at the end of the day, one boundary was all the difference.”
Tickets for the final between Heat and the Sixers are available online.