Sydney Sixers registered their fifth win and fourth consecutive in style at the WBBL 2023 against the Hobart Hurricanes at the Blundstone Arena. In what was a closely contested encounter, the Sixers courtesy some brilliant batting in the latter half with Mathilda Carmichael’s blitzkrieg 32 off 21 paving the way for the famous win as the Hurricanes were left listless.
Sydney Sixers won the toss and decided to bowl first in the WBBL 2023 game. With the dynamic duo of Lizelle Lee and Bryony Smith who have previously partnered with each other right at the top of the order for the Trent Rockets at The Hundred and Elyse Villani coming in at 3, the change-up in the batting order certainly did not go unnoticed. Although the openers gave a brisk start, it was Lauren Cheatle who provided the much-needed breakthrough for the Sixers dismissing the struggling Bryony Smith cheaply for 11 in the 6th over.
Even as Lizelle Lee and Elyse Villani steered through the game, the quick running and consistent boundaries kept them afloat. However, with the introduction of Maitlan Brown into the attack, she struck in her very first over getting rid of Villani who had just hit a boundary in the previous ball but could not get the better of this ball. Another major observation from the game was how within the first eleven overs, the Sixers skipper Perry had used almost seven bowlers keeping the Hurricane batters constantly under pressure.
Lizelle Lee, on the other hand, looked comfortable providing the much-needed impetus to the team as she struck a half-century but before she could unleash her attacking self and own the stage, Chloe Tryon got the better of her for 50 off 34, a knock that saw her strike at 147.06 with seven crucial boundaries and one maximum but it was her strike rate that was pleasing to see in the game of the WBBL 2023.
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Even as Heather Graham held one end almost anchoring this first inning, wickets kept tumbling around her as the unsettled Nicola Carey was dismissed by Ashleigh Gardner who registered her second successful season with 15 wickets and the first off-spinner this season to do so. With Naomi Stalenberg and Ruth Johnston dismissed without adding much to the total; Cheatle, the top wicket-taker this season and Maitlan Brown respectively continued to exert their dominance on the Hurricanes who seemed to be losing the plot.
Sixers’ Graham kept the scoreboard ticking with valuable runs but Linsey Smith struck back to get her out for 36 and Molly Strano’s run out for 2 drew the curtains on the Hurricanes’ batting performance. Finishing on a competitive and fighting total of 139/8 as Lee and Graham were the top run-getters and both Cheatle and M Brown scalped two wickets each, paving the way for an interesting run chase.
With a stiff 140 to chase in the game of the WBBL 2023, Ellyse Perry the skipper of the Sixers got them off to a flying start and at the end of the powerplay, they looked well within ease to chase down the total. Nicola Carey was quick to strike dismissing Perry for 24 in what was a doubtful LBW call initially but got them the much-needed respite. Joining Maitlan Brown was Ash Gardner, however, the former was the next to be dismissed for a dismal 9 off 17. Erin Burns played excellent second fiddle to Gardner before Amy Smith in her very first over of the match dismissed her for 9.
The Hurricanes were certainly not going to let go off the match without a fight as they were defending 140. Amy Smith was once again in the scheme of things and in her second over got the crucial wicket of Ash Gardner. And, the same over also witnessed Suzie Bates out LBW for 1 which meant the equation in the last six overs required the Sixers to get 45 with Chloe Tryon and Mathilda Carmichael still at the crease and the scorecard reading a precarious 86/5.
Amy Smith, the leg spinner had played a major game-changing moment scalping three crucial wickets in the span of 12 deliveries opening up the match for any possible result but with Tryon still at the crease, the game was far from over. However, with Tryon’s dismissal courtesy of Graham’s brilliant ball and with Kate Pelle also dismissed for a duck, the Sixers were seven down and they were digging a hole so deep that recovery seemed improbable.
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Carmichael kept taking quick singles to keep the sinking ship afloat but the required rate kept rising significantly and Amy Smith’s 17th over kept things under pressure for the Sixers. Even as Amy Smith kept things tight from one end, Shabnim Ismail was dispatched by Carmichael for three boundaries in the over that titled the match in favour of the Sixers.
With Carmichael taking five singles in the penultimate over of the match in the WBBL 2023, the equation was ten needed off 6 balls in the final over the showdown. Starting the proceedings off with an audacious boundary played towards mid-wicket, Carmichael looked in full control of the situation rotating the strike with Kate Peterson for a single. Another single meant she was back on strike and she took two quick runs playing a deceptive short towards point.
With one needed off the last delivery, Peterson ran a quick single towards mid-on that meant the Sixers had pulled off a remarkable win and two crucial points on the table, thereby solidifying their position on the table with this fourth consecutive win. Carmichael was deservingly awarded ‘Player of the Match’ for her knock of 32 that sealed the deal for the Sixers.
WBBL 2023: Hobart Hurricanes vs Sydney Sixers Brief Scores
Hobart Hurricanes 139/8 in 20 overs (Lizelle Lee 50, Heather Graham 36; Maitlan Brown 2/20, Lauren Cheatle 2/23) lost to Sydney Sixers 140/7 (Mathilda Carmichael 32, Ellyse Perry 24; Heather Graham 3/18, Amy Smith 3/20) by 3 wickets.