WBBL CATCH-UP: Honours Even After Frantic Opening Weekend

After a frantic opening weekend, the sextuple-header at North Sydney Oval finished with 6 teams sharing 2 points at the top of the WBBL table.

Team Played Won Points NRR
1. Brisbane Heat 1 1 2 0.45
2. Melbourne Stars 1 1 2 0.30
3. Perth Scorchers 2 1 2 0.24
4. Adelaide Strikers 2 1 2 0.20
5. Melbourne Renegades 2 1 2 -0.20
6. Hobart Hurricanes 2 1 2 -0.24
7. Sydney Thunder 1 0 0 -0.30
8. Sydney Sixers 1 0 0 -0.45

Hayley Matthews starred with 48 off 38 balls as the Hurricanes beat the Scorchers in the opening game on Saturday; but the Scorchers got their own back the following day as a fifty from Elyse Villani set up a total of 142-4 – the Hurricanes falling well short in the chase, as Katherine Brunt, bowling with good pace, took 2-18.

Charlotte Edwards and Tammy Beaumont scored just 3 runs off 5 balls between them as the Strikers were reduced to 21-4 against the unfancied Renegades, but the Strikers were bailed-out by Sophie Devine (43 off 38) to finish on 116, which they defended thanks to 4 run-outs in the field as the Renegades were bowled out for 102.

Like the Scorchers. however, the Renegades got their revenge the next day, despite 31 off 28 from Edwards and another blitz of 41 off 27 from Devine, the Renegades chased-down 128, with Danni Wyatt finishing on 34* off 32 balls.

In Saturday’s other match, Meg Lanning was eclipsed by fellow opener Emma Inglis, who struck 46 off 28 balls to set the Stars up for victory against the Thunder, despite a near-miracle WBBL debut from Harmanpreet Kaur, smashing 47* off 28 as the Thunder fell just 6 runs short.

Sunday’s final match saw the Sixers take on the Heat, setting them 138, with Alyssa Healy (48 off 42) and Ellyse Perry (42 off 42) doing the work early-doors. In reply, it wasn’t looking good for the Heat – after 10 overs they were just 46-4, with the required rate well over 9-an-over – but enter Deandra Dottin with the performance of the tournament so far – 60* off 44 balls to win the game.

Overall then, a brilliant opening weekend, reflected in the viewing figures, with an average of 400,000 watching the two prime-time matches on free-to-air TV, peaking at over 600,000; whilst about 6,000 fans came through the turnstiles at North Sydney.

Back here in the UK all matches were shown live, either on BT Sport* or free online. Our only complaint would be the scheduling: Cricket Australia really need to do something about their time-zone, perhaps even consider moving it slightly – about 12 hours ought to do, or these all-nighters are going to kill us 😉

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* For the information of our overseas readers, BT Sport is a pay-channel which is available on-line for £5 a month on a 12-month contract. BT Sport have exclusive rights to all the “TV” matches, which will include the semis and final – these matches are region-locked in the UK otherwise – so we coughed, and consider it well worth it!

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6 thoughts on “WBBL CATCH-UP: Honours Even After Frantic Opening Weekend

  1. Great opening weekend. Massive increase in big-hitting compared with last year. There have been 27 sixes in 6 matches of WBBL02 so far (with at least one in every innings). During WBBL01 there were 111 across the 59 matches.

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  2. Well I’ve certainly enjoyed it so far but who would’ve expected the 2 Sydney teams to be sitting at the bottom of the table?! Quite remarkable but I’m sure it won’t finish like that.

    I did suggest before last year’s WBBL01 that BT Sport could be the “UK TV Channel” to broadcast live domestic women’s cricket. It’s a godsend for women’s sport fans, with their excellent coverage of the football WSL too,

    Katherine Brunt has probably performed best of the English players over the first weekend. The Scorchers/Hurricanes games were both very good and fairly evenly-matched. Both teams look like they will be challenging for the finals. It’s harder to assess the teams which have only played one match but I’m sure Sydney Thunder will be fine, they just gave Stars too good a start and were always going to struggle chasing 147 unless they got off to flyer, although with Kaur’s incredible innings it was close!

    Sixers may be slightly more concerned. It was a strange performance from them as they were pegged back late on after a great start (138-6), but it was an excellent chase from Heat who looked out of the game needing 101 runs from 11.2 overs with only 6 wickets left after Kimmince departed. Great performances from Jonassen and Dottin saw them home, helped by some generous bowling from Perry (0-34 off 3!) and Smith (0-23 off 2.2!). This was a total probably enough to win against a Heat betting line-up which although it doesn’t look the strongest in the WBBL, may turn a few heads with the likes of Mooney, Mandhana, Kimmince and Dottin. Worryingly for Sixers, two of these players failed this time. Heat look confident but Sixers will be looking to finish their innings more strongly, tighten up their bowling and avoid the near-disastrous start they suffered to their campaign in WBBL01!

    Perhaps most interesting of all were the Strikers-Renegades matches. In the first game, Strikers showed a very poor and reckless opening innnings in their first game where they lost far too many wickets and also did not score quickly either. They relied heavily on a great knock of 43 (38) from Devine to post 116.

    Strikers batting woes continued in their second game. They must be very disappointed not to be posting 140-150+ with the batting line-up they have. But apart from their main overseas players they are offering very little. They are suffering from not having any current Australia batsmen and lots of indecision at the top of the order from Patterson. So far she’s scored just 18 runs but taken 33 balls to do it, and run out Edwards to boot. Coyte looks out of her depth high up the order, and Price hasn’t fired yet either.

    Even two excellent batting performances Devine and one decent one apiece from Edwards and Beaumont, they’re failing to get the runs to set challenging scores. A side better than ‘Gades would have beaten them twice, I suspect – although it must be stated that Sydney’s Red team do have a very capable bowling attack. Strikers are the team that I’d pick out as having the biggest (fixable) problems so far – given the fixtures they may have expecting to finish the weekend on top of the table.
    It was a good chase from Renegades to get the 129 required – the excellent Sophie Molineux continues her form with 28* (18) and 4-18! What a player she looks to be…

    Unfortunately Renegades do look a bit short with the bat though. Their deficiency of quality batters is highlighted by the sense that those players they do have do not necessarily fit well in the same side. Priest, Harris and Wyatt all tend to be a bit hit or miss, – I mean to say they are not usually reliable run-scorers – meaning that there are bound to be times when all 3 fail, leaving their less well known players to make a big total on their own. These matches can invariably be written off as losses. I think they need to re-order their batting so Priest and Harris are separated by at least 2 other players to avoid the “both openers smacked the ball straight up in the air” problem.

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  3. Great summary James P. Really valuable for someone who chose to sleep instead of watching the action. On the highlights I have seen, the boundaries look a long way in which might explain the increase in 6s and add to the entertainment.

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