Adelaide Strikers have moved to outright top spot on the WBBL ladder after thumping Sydney Sixers by eight wickets at Hurstville Oval.
Sophie Devine (46 not out) ensured the Strikers made light work of the Sixers' paltry 9-93, slashing the winning runs with 29 deliveries to spare on Saturday.
Devine's unbeaten knock, which secured the Strikers' first-ever victory over the Sixers in 10 attempts, also moved her to the top of this season's run-scoring leaderboard with 639 runs at 79.88, leapfrogging Brisbane's Beth Mooney (622 at 69.11).
After captain Suzie Bates (one) was castled in the first over, Devine and Tahlia McGrath (30) combined for a 71-run second-wicket union to put the result beyond doubt.
Earlier, player-of-the-match Sarah Coyte (a career-best 3-9 from four overs) and Megan Schutt (2-12 from four) proved lethal and economical with the ball.
Schutt started the rot when Alyssa Healy shovelled her straight down Devine's throat at deep backward square leg for a fifth-ball duck, the fourth time in her past five knocks that Healy has succumbed in the first over.
Schutt then skittled Ash Gardner (one) to make it 2-4 before Coyte cleaned up the middle order to put the Sixers on the canvas, where they remained despite the best efforts of South Africans Marizanne Kapp (20) and Dane van Niekerk (19).
With their fifth successive defeat - the last four of them without star captain Ellyse Perry (shoulder injury) - the Sixers have dipped to 6-7 and out of the top four, replaced earlier in the day by Melbourne Renegades who won a thriller against Melbourne Stars.
The Sixers need to bounce back against the Strikers tomorrow and pray Sydney Thunder get over the fourth-placed Renegades (7-6) plus run-rate in the earlier game to have any hope of avoiding missing the finals for the first time.
Meanwhile, Saturday's win saw the Strikers (10-3) move ahead of the Heat (9-4) ahead of Sunday's final round of matches.
The Strikers can secure top spot and home-ground advantage in the finals by beating the Sixers again but a loss would leave the door ajar for the Heat to reclaim the No.1 mantle by beating the Stars in St Kilda.
Australian Associated Press