Sixer sis­ters head­ing our way

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - JO­CE­LYN AIRTH in Syd­ney

THEY are Alyssa Healy (left) and Ell­yse Perry (right) — oth­er­wise known as Pudd and Dags — and they are prob­a­bly the best bat­ting com­bi­na­tion in women’s cricket right now. They com­bined for a team score of 0-199 on Sun­day as their Syd­ney Six­ers scored a huge WBBL vic­tory. They are com­ing to Tas­ma­nia next week, tak­ing on the Hur­ri­canes in a T20 at Launce­s­ton’s In­ver­may Park.

WHEN Alyssa Healy and Ell­yse Perry take to the field to­gether, they’ll al­ways be Pudd and Dags.

Whether play­ing for Aus­tralia, the NSW Breakers or Syd­ney Six­ers, they’ll never for­get where it all started — play­ing school cricket to­gether as nine-year-old kids.

“We first played cricket to­gether in pri­mary school, in the Pri­mary School Sport As­so­ci­a­tion,” Healy said.

“I al­ways re­mem­ber how baggy Pez’s uni­form was — she was so little back then, but it was so baggy that we nick­named her Dags.

“And Pez calls me Pudd, as does Mum, be­cause I used to be a short, fat little thing.”

Pudd and Dags may be all grown up, but that com­bi­na­tion that goes way back is now a deadly mix that dom­i­nates in­ter­na­tional women’s cricket. Last Sun­day, Healy and Perry smashed the record for the high­est open­ing part­ner­ship in WBBL his­tory (0-199) in the Six­ers’ 45-run vic­tory over the Mel­bourne Stars at the WACA.

Healy tonked a 52-ball cen­tury and now has a for­mi­da­ble WBBL strike rate of 159.20.

Perry is not far be­hind with an im­pres­sive 139.50 strike rate of her own.

It was only last month when Healy set the world record for the high­est score in a women’s T20 fix­ture, hit­ting an un­beaten 148 off just 61 de­liv­er­ies against Sri Lanka at North Syd­ney Oval.

The Aus­tralian keeper-bat­ter said she’s just happy her form is peak­ing for the ICC Women’s World Cup which starts in Fe­bru­ary. “In this WBBL, I haven’t been mak­ing great de­ci­sions with my bat­ting, that was some­thing I iden­ti­fied last week to tidy up,” Healy said.

“So it was pleas­ing to fi­nally put it all to­gether on Sun­day, and to have a good part­ner­ship with Pez.”

The pair will be in ac­tion in Launce­s­ton next Wednesday when the Six­ers face the Hur­ri­canes at In­ver­may Park.

While Healy is de­lighted the Matil­das could soon earn the same pay as the Soc­ceroos, clos­ing the gen­der pay gap in Aus­tralian cricket isn’t her top pri­or­ity right now.

“It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing for them [the Matil­das], it’s a fight they’ve been push­ing for a long pe­riod of time,” Healy said.

“Times have changed quite dra­mat­i­cally over the years. We’re start­ing to have con­ver­sa­tions about equal pay and what’s fair and right in our sport­ing teams.”

Healy un­der­stands bet­ter than most the cur­rent pay dis­par­ity be­tween male and fe­male crick­eters through her mar­riage to Aus­tralian fast bowler Mitchell Starc.

She said she doesn’t need an im­me­di­ate pay rise, but ad­mit­ted that if the in­ter­est and par­tic­i­pa­tion in women’s cricket con­tin­ues to sky­rocket, ex­tra money could be on the cards.



ALYSSA HEALY on Ell­yse Perry

RECORD PART­NER­SHIP: Ell­yse Perry and Alyssa Healy on Sun­day.

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