WBBL 2020: Upbeat Strikers face massive challenge
Sydney Sixers are the favourites to win the match
|Brisbane Heat Women||2||1||0||0||1||3||1.282|
|Adelaide Strikers Women||1||1||0||0||0||2||1.871|
|Melbourne Renegades Women||2||0||0||0||1||2||0|
|Melbourne Stars Women||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Sydney Thunder Women||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Sydney Sixers Women||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Perth Scorchers Women||1||0||1||0||0||0||-1.282|
|Hobart Hurricanes Women||1||0||1||0||0||0||-1.871|
Confidence is infectious and as if last year’s campaign wasn’t enough (despite the loss in the final), the Strikers began the new season with a bang, swatting aside the Hurricanes with a clinical performance. They were on top from ball one and never let the opposition sneak back at any point. For the Sixers, bad weather meant that they couldn’t see even the toss, let alone a ball being bowled.
The Sixers ensued a rare bad season last year, their first finish outside the top-two (they didn’t make the semifinal) and skipper Ellyse Perry’s absence sure did hurt. Her fitness is once again under the scanner but given the rest that she got due to the washout, she should be ready for this fixture. Sixers’ top order is arguably the best in the competition and how the Strikers deal with that will be a key sub-plot in this game.
When you bowl the opposition out for a sub-100 score, you win far too many games than you lose. And once the Hurricanes were skittled out for 84, there was no way back for them. The Strikers were ruthless in their approach and having gunned down the target with six overs left has also boosted the net run rate which could play a crucial role later on in the tournament. They wouldn’t want it to go that far. Skipper Megan Schutt set the tone with a fiery new ball spell that allowed her new ball partner Darice Brown and Amanda Wellington to slice through the Hurricanes batting that lacked the spunk to weather the storm.
With such a small target, there wasn’t scope for a lot of batters to get a hit but Laura Wolvaardt made her Strikers debut sweet with a crisp unbeaten fifty to see the team home. The bowling unit looks efficient and Strikers might rely a tad more on them than the batters this season, although they do have a solid top-four with the right ingredients present in the team.
T McGrath, A O’Neil, L Wolvaardt, B Patterson, K Mack, A Wellington, M Penna, T McPharlin(wk), S Coyte, M Schutt(c), D Brown
Having finished fifth last season, the Sixers’ disappointing campaign was as much a surprise to themselves as it was to everyone else. Losing regular skipper Perry to an injury crippled the side so bad and they could never recover. With the opening game of this season being washed out, they would want to start winning as quickly as possible, because nothing restores self-belief like a winning habit. Perry’s fitness was under the scanner once more heading into this tournament but she has recovered well and the washout has come as a blessing in disguise for the Sixers’ skipper, giving her more recovery time. She along with Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner not only form an enviable top-three in the batting but are also three genuine all-rounders for the side. Gardner’s game has gone up a few notches in recent years and along with Perry adds immense balance to the team with their resourceful bowling skills. The bowling has a settled look to it and the Sixers are a team that knows its strengths and weaknesses quite well.
E Perry(c), A Healy(wk), A Gardener, D van Niekerk, M Kapp, E Burns, J Hicks, A Reakes, L Cheatle, S Aley, H Silver-Holmes
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||14||1.95 mm.||12.01 k/h||From: S||87%|
|03h||14||2.40 mm.||11.17 k/h||From: S||95%|
|06h||13||1.05 mm.||10.06 k/h||From: S||98%|
|09h||14||0.81 mm.||9.53 k/h||From: S||100%|
|12h||14||0.58 mm.||9.77 k/h||From: SSW||100%|
|15h||14||0.16 mm.||8.93 k/h||From: SSW||97%|
|18h||14||0.14 mm.||7.94 k/h||From: SSW||97%|
|21h||14||0.21 mm.||7.97 k/h||From: SSW||98%|
It’s expected to be a rainy weekend in Sydney with roughly 70 percent chance of rain and high humidity conditions. The surfaces are expected to be hard with decent pace and bounce to begin with, as the pitches are all fresh at this point.
A venue with great Club history, the North Sydney Oval isn’t used frequently in the higher levels of the sport in Australia but has a lot of tradition associated with it. Over the years, it’s been strongly associated with Women’s international games and WBBL.
With rain expected once more, captains would want to bowl on what should still be fresh decks with the showers likely to have quickened it up if anything. Chasing should be the way to go.
This promises to be a high-octane clash, given Strikers’ form and Sixers’ resources, and is a tough one to predict. There’s eagerness in both camps for different reasons, which could give us a potential cracker of a contest. However, the Sixers have always been a winning team and with their pride hurt after season, expect them to come hard this time with Perry fit and raring to go. We’re going with the Sixers as far as the winner’s prediction for this game is concerned.
Sydney Sixers are the favourites to win the match