The result was a disappointing one for the home team but in every other respect; crowd, atmosphere and playing conditions, Tasmania’s newest interstate cricket venue made a fine debut.
Hurricanes captain Corinne Hall won the toss and sent the Sixers in to bat. Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy played with authority all round the wicket and got their team off to a flying start. Healy made 39 off 24 balls before playing across the line she was bowled by Nicola Carey. Healy’s innings included five 4s and two sixes.
There was no let up for the Hurricanes though. Ashleigh Gardner joined Perry and the pair kept the scoreboard moving along. Gardner made 28 off 24 balls before hitting a ball to Erin Fazackerley off the bowling of Heather Knight.
Ellyse Perry gave the good Launceston crowd a master class to watch. She finished on 70 not out from 56 balls. Her final shot of the day cleared the Mowbray clubrooms and broke the windscreen of an ambulance in the car park. This Sixers team has plenty of support players as well, Erin Burns with 26 from 16 balls stayed with Perry till the end as the pair lifted the final total to 2/172.
Belinda Vakarewa with 0/23 was the pick of the Hurricanes bowlers, not for the first time in this tournament. Heather Knight with one for 30 off four used her subtle changes of pace effectively.
It was a difficult target but definitely not beyond the Hurricanes.
At the start of the run chase Erin Fazackerley gave local fans reason to hope for a win, finding the boundary with some fine blows. Nicola Carey couldn’t get going though and was LBW to Marizanne Kapp for 4 when the total was 12. Fazackerley made 16 off 8 balls before she hit a ball to Ellyse Perry at cover of Dane van Niekerk and another promising innings was nipped in the bud.
Heather Knight, playing her 50th game in the purple of the Hurricanes was clean bowled by a perfect off cutter from Marizanne Kapp for 6 and the responsibility for building a match winning partnership fell on the shoulders of skipper Corinne Hall and English import Fran Wilson.
The pair were given their share of luck. Alyssa Healy dropped a straight forward skied catch off Hall when she was on 2. When Wilson was on 15 she somehow survived after hitting a catch straight back to Ashleigh Gardner, neither umpire thought it was out.
The pair added 63 and got the total to 92 at the end of the 12th over, not a bad position chasing 172 but Wilson when she was on 29 fell to a good catch by Dane van Niekerk at point.
Corinne Hall batted with common sense and skill. Just as she was about to launch at the total she fell to an excellent diving catch by Sarah Aley at backward square leg off the bowling of Lauren Smith and was out for 31 off 22 balls.
A lot then rested on the shoulders of Chloe Tryon who wasn’t able to produce the innings she is capable of. Tryon made 19 off 12 and the Hurricanes run chase fell away from there.
The final margin was 39 runs. The Hurricanes now have a week off before facing the Sixers again at North Sydney Oval next Wednesday. It shapes as must win game for a team that needs to find a winning formula before the tournament slips away.