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The WBBL matches keep coming thick and fast and now we have the Hobart Hurricanes taking on the Melbourne Stars. Both of these teams had a WBBL to forget last season and would be hoping to put in a much-improved performance this time around.
The Melbourne Stars started the tournament in excellent fashion with a win against the Sydney Sixers. The Hobart Hurricanes lost their opening match against the Perth Scorchers but they ran them close and gave a glimpse of what they may be able to achieve.
The Women’s BBL has thrown up0 some very interesting matches so far and we have a feeling that this is also going to be a close one.
The Hobart Hurricanes played a very good match against the Perth Scorchers for the majority of it but could not finish it off. They had a great start to their batting stint but the end was not so special. The same thing happened when they were bowling as well. The Hobart Hurricanes were in with a shot till the very end but a couple of expensive overs let the Perth Scorchers get over the line.
The Hobart Hurricanes finished dead last in the WBBL last season and will need to avoid these mistakes if they want to improve.
The batting side may also be strengthened by the availability of Smriti Mandhana for this match. She has been re-signed for the WBBL but it is unclear if she will join the team form this match or the next one.
The Indian opener has worked hard on her power game and is one of the most improved players in the world. She played a very important knock against Australia in the WorldT20 consigning the side to its only loss in the entire campaign so we have no doubt that the Aussie players will be glad to have her.
Mandhana will join Daffara, Fazackerley, Redmayne, and Maloney as a part of a young and promising batting lineup. Most of the top order got a start with Fazackerley being particularly aggressive and that is an encouraging sign.
Like we mentioned earlier, the batters will be keen to carry on from their starts and get big scores.
A disciplined bowling performance from Pyke, Hartley, Hepburn, and Phillips should be very encouraging for the Hurricanes. They ensured the Perth Scorchers did not run away and cantered home. The bowling attack must remain disciplined because it does not have the international experience available to it like some others in the WBBL do.
Erin Fazackerley, Smriti Mandhana, Hayley Matthews, Heather Knight, Stefanie Daffara, Corinne Hall, Georgia Redmayne, Veronica Pyke, Sasha Moloney, Meg Phillips, Brooke Hepburn.
The talk of the town from the opening week of the WBBL was the performance of the Melbourne Stars. The side played a remarkable match against the Sydney Sixers to beat the highly fancied defending champions.
That performance of the Stars was obviously headlined by a Lizelle Lee century but we don’t think it should be the one to get all the credit. The bowlers for the Melbourne Stars did a very good job at stopping the Sydney Sixers from getting to a massive total.
At one stage it looked like the Stars would be chasing something close to 200, however, Hancock took four wickets to keep the Sixers to 165. Some sharp fielding from the field on the field also showed that the Melbourne Stars were switched on from the very first ball.
Lizelle Lee is one of the most dangerous batters in women’s cricket. It is shame that she was not able to perform to the same level for South Africa in the WorldT20 and maybe that could be the motivation for her coming into the WBBL.
Whatever the reason may be, the Melbourne Stars would be hoping she can continue batting with the same aggression and intent for the remainder of the women’s BBL.
There will be some question marks about the quality of the Stars batting apart from their international players. Tale Lizelle Lee and du Preez out of this lineup and suddenly the cupboard looks quite bare. Reakes, Mack, Osborne, and King are good players but they will have to step up if the Melbourne Stars have to be a consistent force.
Sutherland is leading the bowling attack for the Melbourne Stars with support from Hancock, Ferling, King, and Osborne. There are many players who can bowl their arm over but once again, there is a question mark over the quality of the bowlers in the side.
Lizelle Lee, Angela Reakes, Alana King, Katie Mack, Erin Osborne, Mignon du Preez, Georgia Elwiss, Annabel Sutherland, Makinley Blows, Nicola Hancock, Holly Ferling.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to bat first
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The WBBL match between the Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Stars is set to be played at the West Park Oval, Burnie. The ground is pretty small with small square boundaries. The pitch is usually flat and slightly slow.
The conditions will be loaded in favor of the batters with only the spinners getting a little bit of purchase.
The Hobart Hurricanes have won three out of the last five matches against the Melbourne Stars. The Hobart Hurricanes appear to have more players in form and can win this match if they get the international players in the opposition early.
Back the Hobart Hurricanes to win.
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