Kirby Short is looking forward to facing the Sixers first up.
Kirby Short is looking forward to facing the Sixers first up.

Heat relishing grand final rematch with Sixers

TACKLING the Sydney Sixers away from home may be the WBBL's most daunting challenge but Brisbane Heat skipper Kirby Short is relishing the chance to repeat last year's grand final heroics on Saturday.

Despite labelling this year's stand-alone event as "an outrageously even competition", Short knows how important a first-up win will be for her side's premiership defence.

She's also happy to remind the Sixers what happened in their last meeting ahead of their season-opening clash.

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"It's a nice yardstick, isn't it?," Short said.

"They'll be a bit disappointed that they lost that game in the moment that mattered.

"They've been the benchmark of the competition for a long time and we were able to find a way to beat them in a really critical moment of that final so it's nice to get another opportunity on their patch to see how we go."

The Heat head to North Sydney Oval as underdogs against a side boasting in-form duo Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry but Short is wary of another Sixer with more to prove - Aussie all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner.

The Heat pulled off an incredible victory in the WBBL decider last year.
The Heat pulled off an incredible victory in the WBBL decider last year.

"It's pretty intimidating to see the likes of Healy and Perry doing the things that they do and probably the Gardner factor, too, cause you're never quite sure what extent of that you're going to get," Short said.

"She's probably been deprived of opportunities in the Australian set up just as a consequence of other's success, so, yes, some serious challenges in that line-up."

Brisbane will look to combat Sydney's star trio with their own international talents in the form of Kiwi pair Amelia Kerr and Maddy Green.

"Amelia's a good get for us (and) leg spin in our competition is a genuine point of difference," Short said.

The Heat are wary of facing the likes of Ellyse Perry.
The Heat are wary of facing the likes of Ellyse Perry.

"I think it's beneficial in the nets in training for us when we come up against quality ones but equally for me to call on at a critical moment, just to do something a bit different and she has a pretty cracking wrong un too so looking forward to having her at our disposal.

" (Maddy) is waiting for that breakout opportunity in international level, obviously plays for the kiwis too so we'll provide her with that opportunity to have a level head potentially through the middle order for us as an option."

News Corp Australia


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