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Alright then, it's that time of the year again when the teams in the eastern part of the world take on each other in one of the most innovative T20 competitions of the world. You guessed it right - Big Bash League it is. Women's version of Big Bash League is set to begin with Sydney Thunder taking on Sydney Sixers at the North Sydney Oval ground in Sydney, on Friday, 18th October. Most of the Aussie players likely to be involved in the opening match of this high-profile T20 tournament played recently against Sri Lanka and will be raring to go in the shortest format of the game. The youngsters, on the other hand, will have a point to prove, there couldn't be a better opportunity than an opening Sydney derby in Big Bash League. It's expected to be a hard-fought contest, and a run-feast is undoubtedly on the cards.
The Sixers' last year's campaign revolved around Elysse Perry as she not only performed miraculously with the bat but also contributed heavily with the ball. Alongside Perry, Alyssa Healy slammed the opposition's bowlers to all parts of the ground in the last edition.
Alyssa Healy and Elysse Perry formed one of the best opening pairs in the last edition of the tournament, and given the form, both these players have been in the international circuit; it won't be easy to stop them for any team in the competition.
While the Sixers have a pretty solid top-order, they appear to be a little thin in the middle-order. Barring Ashleigh Gardner, they have little experience to follow should they lose early wickets. They, however, have a balanced bowling attack with the likes of Emma Hughes, Lauren Smith, and Sarah Aley available at their disposal.
In addition to the above-mentioned domestic names, the availability of South African stars in Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp, who was fantastic in the last edition, will be critical to Sydney Sixers' fortunes in not only the upcoming match but also in the other games of the tournament as well.
Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner, Erin Burns, Marizanne Kapp, Maddy Darke, Lauren Smith, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Jodie Hicks, Sarah Aley, Stella Campbell.
Unlike the Sixers, the other team from Sydney, the Thunder, do not have big names in the batting department. Having said that, they still have a pretty strong and well-balanced team primarily because of the availability of versatile all-rounders in the middle order.
Rachel Haynes, Phoebe Litchfield, and Alex Blackwell will lead their batting attack and will be looking for support from the likes of Tahlia Wilson and Hannah Darlington. Lack of experience was one of the talking points of their poor performance in the last edition of the tournament, and they've done little to address that.
Kiwi wicket-keeper Rachel Priest, Pakistan's all-rounder Nida Dar, and South Africa fast-bowler Shabnim Ismail are their overseas players and will add depth to their lineup. They have a wide array of bowlers available at their disposal, and their bowler's performance could play a decisive role in the upcoming tournament as well.
Rachael Haynes, Rachel Priest, Sam Bates, Alex Blackwell, Nida Dar, Lisa Griffith, Hannah Darlington, Rene Farrell, Shabnim Ismail, Phoebe Litchfield, Naomi Stalenberg.
Check out the Dream11 lineup for the first Women's Big Bash League match to be played between Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder
It's a long tournament, and these are early days in the tournament, but both the teams would love to put two points on the board as early in the tournament as possible. There is a stark difference in the combination of two sides, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top in this Sydney derby. On paper and the basis of the performance in the last edition of the tournament, Sydney Sixers appear to be way ahead than the Thunder, and are, therefore, better placed to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture.
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