WBBL 2020:Strikers, Hurricanes eye enhancement in progress!
Adelaide Strikers are favourites to win the match
|Adelaide Strikers Women||1||1||0||0||0||2||1.871|
|Brisbane Heat Women||1||1||0||0||0||2||1.282|
|Melbourne Renegades Women||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Melbourne Stars Women||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sydney Sixers Women||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sydney Thunder Women||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Perth Scorchers Women||1||0||1||0||0||0||-1.282|
|Hobart Hurricanes Women||1||0||1||0||0||0||-1.871|
Two teams with contrasting 2019-20 fortunes will clash in their opening fixture of a fresh WBBL season. The Strikers had a solid campaign last year where they made the final before being outsmarted by the Heat. They would be desperate to go one step further and grab glory this time around. A settled squad is at their disposal with minimal changes made, and rightly so. On the other hand, Hurricanes finished seventh last year and that compelled their structure to undergo a revamp of sorts.
Corinne Hall continues to lead the side but there have been quite a few solid reinforcements in the form of Rachel Priest, Erica Kershaw and Amy Smith to name of a few. The Strikers haven’t felt the need to tweak their squad and have only made two changes to the squad that played last season. Laura Wolvaardt’s inclusion is an excellent signing for the Strikers and makes their already formidable core that much more stronger. A new season brings new hopes and with the limitations of venues, there are challenges and bio-secure bubbles that could test the teams severely this time around.
Losing their biggest matchwinner of last season, Sophie Devine, is definitely a big blow for the Strikers this season. The New Zealand star singlehandedly impacted a major share of their results last year and while it’s impossible to fill her shoes, the Strikers would hope that the core has enough steam to continue in her absence. In Wolvaardt, there is a like-to-like opening batter replacement although she isn’t as aggressive as Devine.
Skipper Suzie Bates will be the rock of their batting and despite her recent slump in form, the veteran remains a key cog of the batting. As will Tahlia McGrath and Bridget Patterson. There’s reasonable strength in the powerhitting but what the Strikers will need is a consistent platform from their top order so that the middle order can flex their muscles and express themselves. Stefanie Taylor is another matchwinner but the limitations on overseas players in the XI will mean that she may not start. Although Devine’s absence is probably the perfect time for the West Indies all-rounder to get a headstart.
S Taylor/L Wolvaardt, S Bates(c), T McGrath, B Patterson, K Mack, A Wellington, T McPharlin(wk), S Coyte, A Price, A O’Neil
As expected for a team that has a bad season, the Hurricanes have gone about restructuring their squad with quite a few changes to the setup. Skipper Hall holds on to her leadership role but there has been a sharp influx of crew members for the Hurricanes, the most notable being the inclusions of Priest and Kershaw. New Zealand’s Hayley Jensen and West Indies all-rounder Hayley Mathews are two other effective players who could play a major role for the Hurricanes this season, although it might be tough for the duo to feature in unison.
There is a heady cocktail of touch and power players in the batting department. The bowling was inconsistent last year but there is quality there and along with the new signings, things do look better for the Hurricanes. How they handle their overseas signings will be important, given the problem of plenty that they could face with regards to those slots in the playing XI. As a group, the Hurricanes don’t look intimidating but have enough in their squad to suggest that they could punch above their weight if they want to, and if that happens, they could be darkhorses.
H Mathews, N Carey, C Tryon, F Wilson, C Hall(c), R Priest(wk), S Moloney, C Abel, M Gibson, E Smith, B Vakarewa
Katie Mack, Darcie Brown, Tegan McPharlin, Bridget Patterson, Megan Schutt, Tahlia McGrath, Annie O'Neil, Maddie Penna, Sarah Coyte, Amanda Jade Wellington, Laura Wolvaardt
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||27||0 mm.||2.93 k/h||From: NW||33%|
|03h||29||0.44 mm.||4.81 k/h||From: N||49%|
|06h||26||2.01 mm.||3.4 k/h||From: NNE||74%|
|09h||23||4.69 mm.||2.84 k/h||From: NNE||99%|
|12h||23||6.05 mm.||5.05 k/h||From: N||90%|
|15h||21||3.02 mm.||2.26 k/h||From: WNW||79%|
|18h||20||0.46 mm.||2.12 k/h||From: WSW||62%|
|21h||21||0 mm.||1.68 k/h||From: WSW||51%|
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.
Although not a high-profile venue in today’s era, Hurstville Oval has been home to several Australian greats of yesteryear, none more significant than The Don himself. It’s a ground that’s usually been used for Club cricket in Sydney.
While the surface is fresh and this is a morning game, that could make the captains want to field first, especially as temperatures are cooler. The rain forecast is another factor, and that could make chasing a preferred option too.
The Strikers look a strong outfit despite losing a matchwinner of Devine’s class. The backups and new signings are all on-point, and with experience and confidence high in the camp, they look a stable squad. The Hurricanes aren’t lacking in skills either but they have a rebuild job to do and there is a lot of curiousity around how their squad could function. At this point, the Strikers seem favourites to win this clash and that’s largely due to the fact that they have a settled squad at their disposal.
Adelaide Strikers are favourites to win the match