Dominant Rachel Priest gives Hurricanes a rare win against Sixers

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A dominant 92* by Rachel Priest and her unbeaten 127-run partnership with Hayley Matthews headlined Hobart Hurricanes’ comprehensive win against Sydney Sixers at the Sydney Showground Stadium on Saturday (November 14) in season six of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). This was only Hurricanes’ second win against the Sixers in the history of the competition.

Chasing 140 to win, Priest was looking to be aggressive from get go. She started with an edge for four in the opening over bowled by Marizanne Kapp. But Hurricanes lost Naomi Stalenberg early to a run out in the third over thanks to an excellent stop and throw by Ellyse Perry.

The big-hitting New Zealand batter, joined by Matthews in the middle, took on young Stella Campbell thumping her for three boundaries in her first over. Like in the first innings, Hurricanes also slowed down post power play as Matthews took her time to settle.

However, Priest got back on the horse when Campbell returned, smashing her for a couple of boundaries to bring up the fifty from 42 balls. She then took on Ashleigh Gardner, who gave away only four runs from her first two overs, for 16 runs – including two fours and a six – to reduce the target to 37 from 30 balls.

Meanwhile, Matthews looked like starting to get her footing at the crease when she hit Sarah Aley for a four. In the next over, the pair gave Kapp no respite as they combined to hit the off-spinner for 19 runs and also brought up their 100 partnership. Priest finished the formality with her hard hit over deep square-leg off Perry taking Hurricanes home in 19.1 overs.

Earlier opting to bat first, Sixers got off to a decent start with Perry scoring a flurry of boundaries in the power play after playing out Belinda Vakarewa for a maiden. She hit six fours in the first six overs and was on 33 off 23 at the end of power play.

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Meanwhile, Alyssa Healy, starved off the strike at the end, continued her indifferent form in WBBL06 and was dismissed for seven by Brooke Hepburn. Ashleigh Gardner soon joined her in the pavilion when she tried to take on the young leg-spinner Amy Smith.

Post their dismissal, Perry took the backseat as Erin Burns took the role of the aggressor. Burns scooped and reverse-swept Smith to get her innings going before sweeping Chloe Tryon to both sides of the wicket for a four and a six.

15-year-old Smith had her revenge when she got Burns caught brilliantly by Vakarewa at mid-wicket for 28 in the 14th over. Once Burns was dismissed Hurricanes managed to pull back the innings a bit with a few quiet overs.

Perry continued to look solid and brought up her fifty from 51 balls. Dane van Niekerk and Perry launched a couple of balls over the boundary in the last two overs to take Sixers score to 139 for 4. Perry remained unbeaten on 72 off 68 balls.

Smith returned with the best figures for Hurricanes, taking 2 for 22 from her four overs.

Brief Scores: Sydney Sixers 139/4 in 20 overs (Ellyse Perry 72*, Erin Burns 28; Amy Smith 2/22) lost to Hobart Hurricanes 143/1 in 18.1 overs (Rachel Priest 92*, Hayley Matthews 41*) by nine wickets. PoTM: Rachel Priest

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