The highly anticipated Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) is back, and in the opening clash of the 2023 season, the Perth Scorchers are all set to square off against the Hobart Hurricanes at Aurora Stadium in Launceston. While the Hurricanes secured a spot in the top four last year but faced a tough defeat in the Eliminator against Brisbane Heat, the Scorchers concluded the season at the fifth position, just two points behind Hobart. This result was a disappointment for a team that boasts big T20 stars in its squad.
Both teams have witnessed some significant changes to their squads. While these alterations include the departure of key players, the Hurricanes, led by skipper Elyse Villani and the invaluable all-rounder Heather Graham, remain a formidable outfit. Nonetheless, releasing two bowling all-rounders will likely affect the diversity in their bowling attack.
On the other hand, the Perth Scorchers continue to possess a promising squad despite a few changes and will feature an improved bowling attack.
Hobart Hurricanes Preview:
For the Hobart Hurricanes Women, starting the season with a win against a formidable side like the Perth Scorchers would provide a significant confidence boost. In their last encounter with Perth, the Hurricanes managed only 109 for 9 while batting first, eventually losing by 8 wickets. Lizelle Lee, the sole wicket-keeper in the squad, is likely to continue opening the innings.
Captain Elyse Villani, a versatile batter, has showcased her ability to score runs at various positions in the batting order. While her presence in the middle-order is invaluable, until the Hurricanes find a quality opener, she might open alongside Lee.
Tabatha Saville, a new addition to the squad, is one to watch out for. The Hurricanes have heavily relied on Villani and Heather Graham in the middle-order, and it’s time for players like Naomi Stalenberg and bowling all-rounder Nicola Carey to step up and provide vital partnerships and strong finishes lower down the order.
The experienced South African bowler, Shabnim Ismail, has joined the Hurricanes this season and is expected to play a significant role alongside Molly Strano and Maisy Gibson.
Hobart Hurricanes Predicted Playing XI:
- Elyse Villani (c)
- Lizelle Lee (wk)
- Tabatha Saville
- Bryony Smith
- Heather Graham
- Nicola Carey
- Ruth Johnston
- Naomi Stalenberg
- Molly Strano
- Shabnim Ismail
- Maisy Gibson
Perth Scorchers Preview:
The Perth Scorchers Women, under the leadership of Sophie Devine, present a well-rounded squad. Although key all-rounder Marizanne Kapp is absent this season, wicket-keeper batter Amy Jones has joined the team, bolstering the batting department.
The opening pair of Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine brings a wealth of international experience and forms a strong and reliable duo. However, Maddy Green, a promising number 3 batter, is not part of the squad this year. Amy Jones is likely to take her place at number 3, with Chloe Piparo slotting in at number 4. This solid top order has the potential to set the stage for a strong start.
The middle order, which consists of players like Amy Louise Edgar and Maddy Drake, may not have extensive exposure, but if two of these four top-order batters find their rhythm, the Scorchers could get off to a flying start. The bowling attack is a formidable force, with the inclusion of Lisa Griffith and Stella Campbell further strengthening the lineup compared to the previous season.
Perth Scorchers Predicted Playing XI:
- Sophie Devine (c)
- Beth Mooney (wk)
- Chloe Piparo
- Amy Jones
- Maddy Drake
- Stella Campbell
- Amy Louise Edgar
- Alana King
- Piepa Cleary
- Lilly Mills
- Lisa Griffith
Perth Scorchers Women T20 Stats and History
Total Match Played = 120
Won = 63
Loss = 52
No Result = 5
Tie = 0
Hobart Hurricanes Women T20 Stats and History
Total Match Played = 115
Won = 38
Loss = 71
No Result = 6
Tie = 0
Perth Scorchers Women vs Hobart Hurricanes Women head-to-head stats
Total Match Played = 16
Perth Scorchers Women won = 10
Hobart Hurricanes Women won = 4
No Result = 2
The contest will be played on a fairly balanced pitch that offers assistance to both batters and bowlers, adding an element of intrigue to the match. Spinners are likely to play a crucial role in slowing down the run flow during the middle overs, making for an engaging battle between bat and ball.
However, one unpredictable element in this clash will be the weather. The forecast predicts mostly cloudy conditions with a high temperature of 24 degrees Celsius, which could influence the behavior of the pitch and the outcome of the match.
Aurora Stadium in Launceston will serve as the battleground for this match. This venue has witnessed a variety of scores, with the average 1st innings score being around 130 runs. The record for the highest total on this ground is held by the Perth Scorchers, who posted an imposing 186 for 2, while the lowest total is a mere 80 all-out, a dubious distinction that belongs to the Hobart Hurricanes. In this contest, a competitive 1st innings score is expected to fall within the range of 140 to 150 runs.
Toss: To Bowl
Historical data suggests that teams batting first have emerged victorious in 11 out of the 19 T20 matches played at Aurora Stadium. However, in this particular matchup, the skippers may opt to chase instead. The Hobart Hurricanes, especially against the Perth Scorchers, have often struggled when setting a target. With a strong bowling attack and a pitch that offers a balance between bat and ball, choosing to bowl first could be a clear and strategic decision in this game.
HH-W vs PS-W Winning Prediction
As these two teams prepare to lock horns, it’s worth noting that one side features prominent T20 stars, while the other displayed an impressive performance last season by making it to the playoffs. However, the Hobart Hurricanes seem to have some lingering issues to address before they can return to their winning ways.
On the other hand, the Perth Scorchers, while occasionally vulnerable in the lower-middle order, have typically found success thanks to their top four batters. In this closely contested match, the presence of high-impact players on both sides adds to the anticipation.
Nevertheless, the Perth Scorchers have a slight edge going into this fixture, making them the favorites in our match prediction. As the action unfolds on this balanced pitch with a touch of assistance for both batters and bowlers, fans can look forward to a gripping encounter that may set the tone for the upcoming WBBL season.
Our Winner: Perth Scorchers Women
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