Team-mates turn rivals: how do you stop Alyssa Healy?

Australia’s players have been able to savour every moment of Alyssa Healy‘s phenomenal form in recent weeks, but from Friday some of them will be hoping the runs dry up as they become the opposition in the Women’s Big Bash.

Healy plundered a world record T20 score of 148 not out against Sri Lanka in Sydney before adding a 71-ball century in the final ODI of Australia’s record-breaking 18th win in a row.

She will now be part of a power-packed top order for the Sydney Sixers in the first standalone WBBL alongside Australia team-mates Ellyse Perry – who scored a record-breaking 777 runs in last year’s competition – and Ashleigh Gardner.

While Perry and Gardner will be happy to watch Healy continue the mayhem from the non-striker’s end, for others there is a different feeling.

“It’s pretty hard to [stop her], she’s been pretty consistent in the last few weeks,” Meg Lanning, the Australia and Perth Sorchers captain, told ESPNcricinfo. “We talked about it when she was whacking it all around the park against Sri Lanka that hopefully she’s getting all her runs out now and won’t have any left for the Big Bash, but I find that hard to believe. I think she’ll keep dominating and make plenty of runs, just not against Perth.”

Nicola Carey, who has moved from the Sydney Thunder to Hobart Hurricanes, is one of those who could be tasked at bowling to Healy when the teams meet next month.

“I’ve certainly been watching Alyssa smack the ball around, I haven’t seen her get out too many times,” Carey said. “She’ll certainly be hard to bowl to, as will all the top order who have been in the runs recently. We’ve got our plans against them, we’ll see if it comes off I guess.

“It’s really funny, I go into net sessions sometimes and I know the Big Bash is around the corner and all of you don’t play in my team, so you can work a few things out and it will make things very interesting against each other.”

For Healy’s Sydney Sixers team-mates, however, they hope it’s business as usual.

“The way she is hitting the ball at the moment is a little bit scary,” Gardner told ESPNcricinfo. “I have said to her a few times that hopefully she can do it in the magenta. We know how good a cricketer she is and she’s just hitting the peak of her career, so the likes of her and Ellyse Perry – who hasn’t had much time in the middle and is raring to go – they play a massive role starting off our innings.”

The WBBL starts with a Sydney derby between the Sixers and Thunder at North Sydney Oval on Friday before six matches over the week across Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide which includes a re-run of last year’s final between the Sixers and Brisbane Heat.

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