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Slowly but surely, the Women's Big Bash League is picking up pace. We saw some nail-biting encounters over the last couple of days and the results may well be the signs of things to come. The match between Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Thunder was abandoned due to rain and the two teams had to settle for a point each. Hurricanes are still in pretty good position and another win here will further strengthen their position in the top four. The Thunder, on the other hand, have done exceptionally well and are one of the best teams in the tournament. The match between the two sides is to be played at Burnie on 3rd Novemeber.
Hobart Hurricanes got off to a terrific start in the tournament, winning their first two matches - against Melbourne Stars, but they have struggled since then. Their batsmen failed to get going on a tricky surface against the Strikers and it wasn't too different against the Heat. Consequently, they are now placed at the fourth spot at the ladder with five points to their name.
It's been quite a while since they last played a match as their most-recent match was washed out. Prior to that, they played against Brisbane Heat wherein the Hurricanes were handed a five-wicket defeat at the hands of Brisbane Heat. Although Hurricanes haven't been able to repeat the success of their first two fixtures, the margins of their losses haven't been too big. The fact is also evident from their superb net run-rate of 0.327.
In their last completed match, Hurricanes' batsmen failed to get going in the powerplay overs and that in turn exerted that extra bit of pressure on their middle-order. Heather Knight played a wonderful knock of 61 to take them to a competitive total of 123, but it didn't prove to be enough. All their bowlers toiled hard to keep Heat from getting to the target, but they didn't just have enough runs on the board. ML Gibson and NJ Carey were the pick of their bowlers, who both returned with the same figures of one wicket for 18 runs.
Nicola Carey, Erin Fazackerley, Maisy Gibson, Corinne Hall, Heather Knight, Meg Phillips, Emily Smith, Chloe Tryon, Belinda Vakarewa, Tayla Vlaeminck, Fran Wilson.
Sydney Thunder were scheduled to play a match against the Hurricanes earlier today, but the match was washed out due to rain. They were consequently robbed of an opportunity to get to the top of the table as they could get to just seven points after the wash-out, thanks to the shared points. They are currently placed at the second spot on the points table and will be looking to get a couple of more points in the upcoming encounter.
Before the washout, they played against Melbourne Stars wherein they just managed to sneak in. Although they won the match by four wickets, they would have loved to be more clinical than they were. Chasing a total of 142, they got themselves in a spot of bother, but thanks to a useful partnership between AJ Blackwell and RM Farrell, they managed to sneak home.
Overall, Thunder are a pretty well balanced unit with excellent blend of youth and experience. They have a batting unit that goes deep, something which helped them to seal the deal in the last encounter as well. They are yet to perform to their full potential and if they can do that, things are going to be very difficult for the Hurricanes.
Rachael Haynes, Sam Bates, Alex Blackwell, Nida Dar, Hannah Darlington, Rene Farrell, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail, Phoebe Litchfield, Rachel Priest, Naomi Stalenberg.
While Sydney Thunder can afford to lose a game and still be amongst the top-four sides, it is not the same for the Hurricanes. Hurricanes have already played five matches and a loss here will make things very difficult for them. They haven't been as consistent as they'd have liked to be and it could be a cause of concern for their manangement. Considering the two teams on paper and on-form, the Thunder are clear favorites to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture and the odds of their win - 1.833 seem to offer good return on investment.
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