Ellyse Perry-less Sydney Sixers waiting to bounce back and pile more misery on the Hobart Hurricanes!
Sydney Sixers to win!
|Brisbane Heat Women||11||8||3||0||0||16||0.84|
|Adelaide Strikers Women||9||6||3||0||0||12||0.761|
|Sydney Sixers Women||9||6||3||0||0||12||0.429|
|Perth Scorchers Women||10||6||4||0||0||12||-0.272|
|Melbourne Renegades Women||10||5||5||0||0||10||0.021|
|Sydney Thunder Women||10||4||5||0||1||9||-0.605|
|Hobart Hurricanes Women||9||2||6||0||1||5||-0.376|
|Melbourne Stars Women||10||1||9||0||0||2||-0.87|
It is that time of the season when there are very few matches left for the play-offs and teams are looking to gain those crucial points for semi-final qualification.
Sydney Sixers are currently in a comfortable position with 12 points from 9 matches but it is Hobart Hurricanes who need two points more than ever. Sixers, on their own, will want to prove why they are regarded as the best squad in the WBBL and that would require absolute dominance. However, with two losses against table Toppers Brisbane Heat and a surprising loss against Melbourne Renegades, Sixers have tended to be really inconsistent this season.
Against Melbourne Renegades, Sixers managed to reach 139-4 after 20 overs with the help of a fifty from Marizanne Kapp. Ashleigh Gardner also contributed with a well made 26-ball 36 while Ellyse Perry came up with a scratchy 37-run knock. One would have thought that Sydney Sixers' total would be more than enough on a difficult Drummoyne Oval surface and the same was happening too until Courtney Webb and Carly Lesson came up with late acceleration. Even then, with 15 required off Marizanne Kapp's last over and five required off the last ball, Sixers were still huge favorites. However, Webb did the unthinkable by smashing the ball over cow corner for a six and pulled off a victory.
On the other hand, Hobart Hurricanes have been on a worrisome run with 6 losses in their last seven games. Even the game they didn’t lose was a match that was abandoned due to wet outfield. The fact that their last loss came against their upcoming opponents wouldn’t help their confidence too much. After all, they were outplayed by the Sixes with bat and ball at Launceston.
While the loss against Melbourne Renegades would have hurt Sydney Sixers, the loss of Ellyse Perry due to a shoulder injury would have come across as a bigger setback. The injury was sustained when Elyse Perry landed badly after looking to stop a shot from going over the ropes. Due to this injury, Perry won’t be available for three weeks and might return only for the WBBL grand final. The magnitude of the loss doesn’t need to be explained as Ellyse Perry has been easily Sixers' best batswoman with a mammoth 469 runs in 9 matches. While not being penetrative with the ball, Perry has still played a key role by keeping the run-flow at a very low rate.
In her absence, Alyssa Healy would have to take more responsibility as Sixers have mostly relied on Perry's big knocks in the team's wins. After showing good signs against Melbourne Renegades, Ashleigh Gardner and Marizanne Kapp would also have to continue their good work. With the ball in hand, the hosts are pretty well served with the experienced trio of Marizanne Kapp, Sarah Aley and Dane van Niekerk in really good form.
Further, Ashleigh Gardner, Erin Burns and Lauren Smith give a complete look at the bowling attack. In terms of playing XI news, it remains to be seen whether Dane van Niekerk will return after missing the match against Melbourne Renegades due to a hand injury that was sustained while trying to cut an avocado.
Erin Burns, Alyssa Healy (WK/C), Ashleigh Gardner, Dane van Niekerk/Lauren Cheatle, Marizanne Kapp, Jodie Hicks, Maddy Darke, Lauren Smith, Sarah Aley, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Stella Campbell
Lauren Smith, Maddy Darke, Stella Campbell, Marizanne Kapp, Alyssa Healy, Erin Burns, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Ashleigh Gardner, Sarah Aley, Hollie Armitage, Dane van Niekerk
After 9 games and six disappointing results, Hobart Hurricanes stand in almost the same scenario they found themselves in last year. A wooden-spoon finish meant that they went on a squad overhaul but it hasn’t worked this season.
While one could argue that Hurricanes haven’t been as bad as the points table reflects, the lack of a stand-out performer with the bat and depth in the bowling attack has surely hurt their ambitions this season. Six Hurricanes batswomen have over 100 runs for the reason but none have scored over 250. Even Heather Knight who is the team’s top-scorer has only 219 runs after 8 matches. The case is exactly opposite with other teams as they have had one stand-out batter with more than 300 or 400 runs while the others haven’t necessarily scored over 100 runs over the season.
While it has been Perry for Sixers, Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine have done it for Brisbane Heat and Adelaide Strikers respectively. With the ball, Belinda Vakarewa has been the stand-out performer with 11 wickets while leg-spinner Maisy Gibson and Nicola Carey's performances have dipped after starting impressively. If the uninspiring performances on the field weren’t enough, wicket-keeper Emily Smith was slapped with a 1-year ban for posting team news on her Instagram account before an abandoned match. This abandoned match refers to the game between Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Thunder at Burnie which was called off due to a wet outfield.
The Hurricanes have only crossed 150 once during their last seven games. They will be without keeper Emily Smith who has been banned for three months for posting the team's playing XI on social media.
Erin Fazackerley, Sasha Moloney, Meg Phillips, Heather Knight, Nicola Carey, Fran Wilson (WK), Corinne Hall (C), Chloe Tryon, Maisy Gibson, Tayla Vlaeminck, Belinda Vakarewa.
Tayla Vlaeminck, Fran Wilson, Emma Manix-Geeves, Corinne Hall, Chloe Tryon, Maisy Gibson, Belinda Vakarewa, Heather Knight, Nicola Carey, Erin Fazackerley, Meg Phillips
Cricket will be back to North Sydney Oval after a short stint at Drummoyne Oval and that means the return of a lot of joy for the batters too. Par score tends to be around 140-150 in this format. However, there could be some assistance for the seamers if it rains slightly before the match. At this moment, Wednesday is only predicted to be cloudy with 10% chance for rain.
The North Sydney Oval has become a pretty popular venue for domestic competitions such as the Marsh One Day Cup and the Women’s Big Bash League. Not just for the small size of the boundaries which result in a lot of runs, fans also enjoy the compact nature and grass banks of the North Sydney Oval. The highest total this season has been 192 and it was achieved by Sydney Sixers themselves in the opening encounter of this season against arch-rivals Sydney Thunder.
Considering that North Sydney Oval mostly produces good batting tracks, chasing will be recommended for this game. Only once has a chasing team failed to track down a target under 160 this season. That should give enough confidence for both the captains to field first.
Even in the absence of Ellyse Perry and possibly Dane van Neikerk too, Sydney Sixers have enough quality in the likes of Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner and Marizanne Kapp. Only a special knock from Heather Knight or Chloe Tryon could save the day for Hobart Hurricanes.
Sydney Sixers to win!