The Sydney Sixers have missed out on the WBBL finals for the second year in a row despite a record-breaking century from Alyssa Healy in a thrilling victory over the Melbourne Stars at North Sydney Oval, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
The Sixers went into Sunday's match with a slim chance of making the finals, needing both a win and a quick chase of the target to improve their net run-rate to slide into the top four.
Meg Lanning's 77 off 59 balls propelled the Stars to an imposing total of 4/178 from a reduced 19 overs due to a short period of rain.
In reply, Healy and Ellyse Perry piled on 150 for the first wicket, with Healy bringing up her ton off just 48 balls. Perry's dismissal for 31 sparked a mini-collapse before Angela Reakes and Lisa Griffith guided the Sixers to their target, but the result condemned them to a fifth-placed finish on net run rate behind the Perth Scorchers.
Healy said her side had been "found out a few times" during the course of the season but would learn from their mistakes next year. The Sixers started off the season strongly but were unable to rebuild quick enough in the face of five-straight losses.
"I think it just shows how consistent you need to be in this WBBL to be at the top of the table," Healy said. "The teams are so well-matched, there is no easy games out there. It's getting harder and harder every year -if you're not consistent, you're not going to be at the top of that leaderboard."
Healy's performance ensured the Sixers went out with a bang. Healy's husband, Test quick Mitchell Starc, clapped on the sidelines as Healy posted the third-fastest ton in WBBL history and the tenth fastest in any women's T20 match.
Dismissed for 111 off 52 balls, Healy was also frustratingly close to the highest ever score in WBBL history, set by teammate Ash Gardner who reached 114 in 2017. The century was Healy's fourth in the WBBL - with no other player in the tournament having more than two.
Despite the relatively underwhelming performance, Perry managed to claim a record of her own, becoming the second batter in WBBL history to score 3,000 runs. Beth Mooney became the first batter to pass the milestone on Saturday.
In yet another blow for the Sixers on Sunday, Cricket Australia announced mid-game they would be handing the team a $25,000 fine following an "administrative error" during Saturday's clash against the Melbourne Renegades.
Fast bowler Hayley Silver-Holmes had recently recovered from a foot injury and was set to make her return during the must-win game - but the comeback had not yet been formally approved by Big Bash officials.