It was a case of déjà vu for the ‘Canes early in the innings, with captain Rachel Priest caught on 2 in just the second over, before Mignon du Preez was removed in almost identical fashion just five balls later to leave the home side on 2-11. Ruth Johnston again showed flashes of power, but soon fell for 10 in the fifth over with her side’s total at 3-26.
Enter Richa Ghosh, who took it upon herself to bring the Hurricanes back into the game. Finding the rope with a variety of strokes, and ably supported by Nicola Carey, Richa helped the ‘Canes add almost fifty runs to their total score, before the partnership was broken and Carey was bowled, leaving the score at 4-75.
Stalenberg was removed cheaply (1) shortly after, but Sasha Moloney joined Richa at the crease with serious intent and began to find the rope herself to move the total along. The pair managed to move the Canes past the 100 mark before Moloney was caught for 22 off 16 balls, and two balls later Richa followed suit, caught on 46 after a fantastic knock that gave the Hurricanes genuine belief.
With the score at 7/-108, the ‘Canes were hoping to get a contribution from the tail, and Molly Strano provided just that, batting creatively and engineering some boundaries to get the ‘Canes to 9-125 by the innings end.
The ‘Canes knew they needed to strike early to stand a chance, and they did just that with Tayla Vlaeminck knocking over Alyssa Healy for just three runs in the second over of the innings. It got better just moments later, when superstar Strano had Ash Gardner caught behind to claim her first wicket in purple, and have the Sixers in all sorts at 2-14.
Experienced head, Ellyse Perry, and youngster, Shafali Verma, managed to calm things down, and added over 60 runs to put the Sixers firmly back in control. Strano gave Hobart fans a glimmer of hope when she had Perry stumped on 27, and the combination of Ruth Johnston, Nic Carey and Amy Smith managed to put the brakes on the Sixers charge, with Johnston in particular showcasing her nous with the ball.
Sitting at 3-93 after 16 overs, Verma went after Vlaeminck to reach her 50 and push the chase back into more manageable territory, but Strano had her walking soon after, helped by an excellent catch by Vlaeminck in the deep to pick up her third wicket.
Needing just two runs to win in the final over, the Sixers were made to earn it after Carey bowled Angela Reakes, setting up a grandstand finish. Unfortunately for ‘Canes fans, the Sixers safely navigated the final few deliveries to secure a hard-fought win.
The Hurricanes will now regroup ahead of their next match against the Melbourne Stars, which will be held at Blundstone Arena on Tuesday. The first ball will be bowled at 1.25pm, and will be broadcast on Fox Cricket, Kayo Sports and cricket.com.au.