We’re past the halfway mark of the WBBL and the ladder is starting to take shape.
The two Sydney teams look to be the team to beat with the Sixers, in particular, looking fantastic, while Australian superstar Alyssa Healy is starting to find her best form at the top of the order this round.
Sydney Thunder v Hobart Hurricanes
The Thunder moved clear to the top of the ladder with a comfortable victory over Hobart.
The day started poorly for the ‘Canes, with Rene Farrell dismissing opener Erin Fazackerley in the opening over. Contributions from Smriti Mandhana, Stef Daffara and Heather Knight set Hobart up for a solid score, and when Daffara was dismissed after 9.2 overs, the score read 3/74. From there, the innings fell apart, with constant wickets falling around Knight’s lone hand.
Successive run outs of Georgia Redmayne and Knight (who was out to a fantastic direct hit by Nicola Carey) were the epitome of the chaos, and 135 never looked like a par score.
That's how it's done! Skipper Moloney takes the catch and that's the first wicket for the Hurricanes! #WBBL04 pic.twitter.com/jfnOIETx7y— Rebel Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) December 24, 2018
Rachael Haynes was the star for Sydney, but it could’ve been a different story, with the Hurricanes dropping her on one. She ended with 68 off 48 not out, including nine boundaries and a six.
Cameos from Rachel Priest (22 off 11) and Naomi Stalenberg (19 off 13) took the heat out of the run chase, and the Thunder cruised home with 20 balls to spare.
Perth Scorchers v Brisbane Heat
A brilliant Meg Lanning innings wasn’t enough to secure a victory for the Peth Scorchers, as a team effort from the Brisbane Heat proved too strong.
Biiiiiggg from Sammy-Jo Johnson! 🔥 #WBBL04 pic.twitter.com/WErerefJsq— Rebel Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) December 26, 2018
Lanning’s ability to turn over the strike and also send the bad deliveries to the boundary was clear, and there were no bowlers that she specifically seemed to target. Rather she faced the bowling as it came to her and backed herself to maintain a strong strike rate off all the bowlers.
Unfortunately for Perth no one else got going, with her opening partner Elyse Villani’s 23 off 20 the next best effort. The Heat’s death bowling was solid, and Perth managed just 37 runs off the last six overs. Haidee Birkett was the pick of the bowlers, dismissing Villani, Nicole Bolton and Heather Graham to finish with 3/19 off four overs.
The Heat timed their chase perfectly and had solid contributions from all their batters. They won with four deliveries to spare, but it might have been a different story had Perth been tighter with the ball. They bowled eleven wides for the innings, with Taneale Peschel especially struggling to control the ball, bowling six wides in a sloppy fielding and bowling performance from Perth.