Despite losing the toss and being sent in to bowl first, Hurricanes captain, Corinne Hall, said she wasn’t phased by the decision. Her side reflected this sentiment, breaking the crucial opening partnership of Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry in the sixth over.
With Healy departing for 21 off the bowling of Hayley Matthews, it was up to Sixers captain Perry to steady the ship, and it looked like she was going to run away with it, until she was dismissed lbw off the bowing of Nicola Carey for 35. Ashleigh Gardner – always a danger coming in at number three – then threatened to put the foot down, notching up 53 runs off just 35 balls. Fifteen-year-old leg spinner, Amy Smith, had other ideas however, getting the crucial scalps of both Gardner and Erin Burns in the same over, leaving her figures after two overs sitting at 2-4.
The momentum swung the Hurricanes way in the latter part of the innings, and for the second time in as many matches, Matthews found herself on a hat trick. With the Sixers losing four wickets falling for just 27 runs in their final five overs, the Hurricanes restricted the notorious big-hitters to 6-149 off their allotted 20 overs, setting themselves a realistic target of 150 to win.
Openers Naomi Stalenberg and Rachel Priest got off to a ripping start with the bat, with the boundaries beginning to flow early in the first two overs. However, a miss-hit from Priest midway through the third saw her depart and Matthews come to the crease.
After Stalenberg fell for to the same fate as Priest three overs later - for a well-made 22 off 17 – the attention turned to Matthews. After a disappointing tournament by her own standards with the bat so far, she got off the mark in style; with a huge six off the bowling of Perry. It turned out to be the last over Perry bowled for the match. Matthews put her strength behind every shot she made, flying to 29 off just 20 balls. But the introduction of Sixers youngster, Hayley Silver-Holmes into the attack switched things up, and after being caught by Gardner, Matthews was also heading back to the sheds.
All hopes then rested on Australian international, Nicola Carey, and South African big-hitter, Chloe Tryon. Tryon was well-contained by the Sixers – departing for a run-a-ball 10 in the 16th – but Carey showed patience with the bat, top-scoring for the Hurricanes with 38.
Her departure saw the required run rate slowly increase for the ‘Canes and despite a bunch of quick twos and some innovative batting by the likes of Hall and Sasha Moloney, it just wasn’t enough, with the star-studded Sixers scraping across the line by nine runs.
The Hurricanes will now look ahead to tomorrow morning, when they take on the Sixers crosstown rivals in the Sydney Thunder. The match at Hurstville Oval will begin at 9.30am, and will be streamed via cricket.com.au and Kayo Sports.