CRICKET: West Indian Deandra Dottin has led the Brisbane Heat to a thrilling five-wicket win over the Sydney Sixers to get its Women's Big Bash League campaign off to the best possible start.
Dottin smashed 60 off 44 balls to lead Brisbane home on 5-142 after at one stage being 4-38 in chase of the Sixers' 6-138.
The West Indian put on 76 for the fifth wicket with Jess Jonassen before the Heat reached its target with four balls to spare at North Sydney Oval.
Earlier, Aussie stars Alyssa Healy (48) and Ellyse Perry (42) combined for a 74-run partnership at the top of the order for the Sixers as they set up what looked to be a challenging total for the Heat until Dottin's arrival.
The two sides will go head to head again at Drummoyne Oval today as the second season of the WBBL continues.
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland says the women's game is well on the way to becoming a mainstream sport after extremely good TV ratings during the first round of the tournament.
"We do know we had about a 200k average last year so we've blown that completely out (of the water) - we've basically doubled it,” Sutherland said.
"It's just an indication of the trajectory that the women's game's on, both in terms of the standard but also the viewability.
"I'm just excited. These are small steps to women's cricket being a mainstream sport in Australia.”
Results: Renegades 3-131 def Strikers 6-128; Scorchers 4-142 def Hurricanes 9-125, Stars 8-147 def Thunder 4-141; Hurricanes 5-120 def Scorchers 6-119, Strikers 116 def Renegades 102; Heat 5-142 def Sixers 6-138