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.
|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 😉
* 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!