South African star Dane van Niekerk says the Sydney Sixers have the grit and depth to overcome the loss of injured captain Ellyse Perry and keep their WBBL finals push on track.
Champion allrounder Perry will be sidelined for up to three weeks with a shoulder injury, suffered in Sunday's loss to the Melbourne Renegades.
The third-placed Sixers on Tuesday announced 22-year-old Englishwoman and top-order batter Hollie Armitage had been signed as an injury replacement.
After Wednesday's game in Sydney against seventh-placed Hobart, the Sixers have a tough run home with two away matches against Perth (5th) and two home clashes with Adelaide (2nd).
"We just need to build that momentum again. We had it really well and we just got stopped by the Renegades," van Niekerk said.
"We've got really good teams coming up, we've got a tough back half, but we've got the players in the camp to counter that.
"I think we have the grit and the fight and the heart in the team to try and fill that (Perry's) spot as much as we can.
"We showed that three seasons ago when we won the second WBBL in Pez's (Perry's) absence."
Van Niekerk opened alongside Alyssa Healy in the Sixers' side in that finals campaign.
Another opening option is English academy player Armitage, who has been playing club cricket in Hobart and has trained with the Hurricanes.
She was recommended to the Sixers by their star wicketkeeper-batter Healy, who she played alongside in England.
"I had a message off Midge (Healy) on Sunday night ... she was like 'we've got a few injuries. What are your thoughts on being a Sixer'?" Armitage said.
"I'm definitely no Ellyse Perry, that's for sure, but it's a great opportunity for me."
In a twist, Armitage is set to make her Sixers debut on Wednesday against the Hurricanes.
"I've been in some (Hurricanes) meetings, but they are things that I can't disclose, that information, because it's private and confidential," Armitage said.
Van Niekerk was confident teenagers Stella Campbell and Hayley Silver-Holmes could step up and bowl overs in Perry's absence, if required.
Van Niekerk is back in the squad, having missed the Renegades match after cutting her hand while slicing clean out an avocado.
Australian Associated Press