Elyse Villani in action. ©ICC
Posiview-InPost

WBBL 04 got off to an exciting start as the Hobart Hurricanes and Perth Scorchers met at CitiPower Centre, St Kilda. Perth Scorchers won by six wickets in the end with three balls to spare. Although the outcome was far from certain with four overs to go.

It might have been a different story for Hobart Hurricanes who had lost Hayley Matthews to a broken toe. With Heather Knight also unavailable, Hurricanes could have felt their chances were hampered.

Erin Fazackerley was promoted up the order. A tall player showed her intent from ball one hitting the first six of WBBL 04 from the second ball of the day. It was an innings that was only to last 16 balls but in that time Fazackerley scored 4 fours and three sixes in a total of 38.

The innings of Fazackerley came to an end as she turned too wide and Kate Cross in her first game for the Scorchers returned the ball to the non-striker’s end with some fizz and Fazackerley was short (sic) of her ground.

The Hurricanes innings faltered after that as Stefanie Daffara and Georgia Redmayne tried to keep hitting just as hard. Redmayne was able to bat deep into the innings as she settled the runs started to become easier to come by. Redmayne was unlucky not to convert her innings to a fifty, as she was run out coming back for a second run in the final over. Heather Graham was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3 for 25.

143 for 7 looked about par, although with the strong top-order from the Scorchers it could well have been 20 short.

The Hurricanes would need early wickets to stand any chance and it was Brooke Hepburn who did just that as she had Australia captain Meg Lanning caught behind by Redmayne with a sharp take.

When the Hurricanes had Nicole Bolton caught for 4 they would have felt they were in the game. Elyse Villani was in scorching form with a thirty ball fifty. Villani played controlled shots that found the gap.

With the run-rate starting to move over 7.5 Villani eventually played a shot that belied the calm of most of her innings as she swept Sasha Moloney only to pick out Alex Hartley at short fine leg.

Lauren Ebsary and Chloe Piparo were able to guide the Scorchers home as they found the boundary with regularity. Ebsary finished with 40 not out from just 27 balls.

The Scorchers will be pleased with this win and they know they can get even better. It wasn’t all dispiriting for the Hurricanes as they have key players to come back. They showed they will be more competitive than in the previous incarnation of the WBBL.