The Hobart Hurricanes, despite losing two close games in Brisbane last weekend, will approach the Burnie double header against Sydney Thunder with justified confidence.
The #WBBL05 version of the Hurricanes is a much different proposition to the team that lined up against the Thunder in WBBL 04 on Christmas Eve 2018.
That game took place against the backdrop of Santa packing his sleigh at the North Pole and the Thunder on a winning streak. It was a hard double to overcome.
The Hurricanes were sent in to bat by Thunder captain Alex Blackwell and mustered a score of 135 of 19.4 overs. Equal top score for the Hurricanes were their two high quality internationals.
The handed Smriti Mandhana one of India’s finest made 35 off 22 balls in typically classy style, English star Heather Knight made her 35 off a slightly less rapid 22 balls. The ever reliable Georgia Redmayne chipped in with 17 off 15 balls but the total looked a little light on an excellent pitch and a rapid outfield. Perfect blue skies above Sydney made for an ideal batting day.
Interestingly two of the Thunders better performers with the ball in this game were Nicola Carey (1 for 39 off 4 overs) and Maisy Gibson (1 for 13 off 3 overs). These two players who’ve now adopted the famous purple colours of the WBBL’s southernmost team for WBBL05 will be a crucial part of the Hurricanes for the Burnie double header.
Sydney Thunder made easy work of their Christmas Eve challenge. The tone for the chase was set when Rachel Priest peeled three boundaries off the first three balls Sasha Moloney bowled of the innings. The Hurricanes didn’t help matters by some less than perfect fielding. Rachel Haynes who earned the player of the match award with an imposing 68 not out off 48 balls was put down at wide mid-wicket when she was on one. The Hurricanes must not allow for such lapses this weekend. Heather Knight with 1 for 18 off three overs and Brooke Hepburn 1 for 13 off three overs were steady with the ball.
Thunder ran down the target with two balls left in the 16th over and six wickets to spare, they looked an irresistible force on Christmas Eve 2018 and were two points clear on the top of the ladder as Santa and his reindeer pulled out of the North Pole.
The Hurricanes are a stronger all round team than the one that finished WBBL04 with two wins from fourteen games. They know that for a break or two at last weekend in Brisbane they could be undefeated after four matches in WBBL05. The Thunder know they’ll have to really have to earn their wins this weekend on the shores of Bass Strait at West Park in Burnie...