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WBBL|06 season opener preview: Strikers v Hurricanes

23 October 2020

Tahlia McGrath will be key to the Strikers' hopes this season

In a season like no other, the Adelaide Strikers will be looking to kick off their rebel WBBL|06 campaign in style against the Hobart Hurricanes on Sunday.

Head-to-head

Strikers: 7  

Hurricanes: 2

Last time they met

A final over thriller at Blundstone Area sealed a two-run victory for the Adelaide Strikers in the pointy end of the last season. Captain Suzie Bates smashed 64 (from 54), combining with fellow Kiwi Sophie Devine for 0/76 from the first ten overs. Chasing 144 for victory, Hobart looked in trouble at 2/10 before Chloe Tryon took the game into her own hands crushing 44 not out at a strike rate of 200.

Ultimately it all came down to the last over of the match with the home team requiring an achievable 11 runs from the final six balls. Some crafty work from medium-pacer Sarah Coyte and a handy run out on the third ball ultimately saved the game for the Strikers, triumphing by two runs. 

Talking point

The Strikers fell one game short of ultimate victory last season and with a relatively unchanged playing list this year, that loss is sure to still be stinging amongst the group. The Hurricanes on the other hand have had one of the largest list turnovers in the competition and will be looking to settle a cohesive squad after a number of years of change.  

In true 2020 style this season will be played in its entirety in Sydney with players taking up residence in a biosecure NSW hub. Which team will perform best under these strange (and dare we say ‘unprecedented’) conditions remains to be seen, but with experienced campaigners Bates, Megan Schutt and Stafanie Taylor among the ranks and a tight-knit playing group passionate about going one step further, the Strikers will dare to dream again.

Stat attack

As far as the numbers are concerned, the Strikers hold the bragging rights over their Tasmanian counterparts. Of their last five meetings, Adelaide has claimed the points on all five occasions. If that’s not enough, the Strikers three highest run totals in the WBBL (5/189, 3/183 and 6/176) have all come against the Hurricanes, as did their largest ever winning margin of 83 runs.

Striker to watch – Tahlia McGrath

It’s fair to say that any side looks better with Sophie Devine in its ranks, but with the New Zealander departing Adelaide to head west this season, the Strikers will be looking to fill a Devine-sized gap in the top order. Enter Tahlia McGrath.

McGrath (or T-Mac to her team-mates) is as genuine an allrounder as they come, racking up the runs and contributing consistently with ball in hand. The 24-year-old has notched up 1014 runs and 45 wickets across her 69 game WBBL career and is currently making waves in the longer format of the game. Recently awarded a Cricket Australia national contract for the upcoming summer, T-Mac will be looking to cement her star status and make her mark on WBBL|06.   

Danger player – Chloe Tryon

The last time these two teams met, Chloe Tryon was nearly the difference for the Hurricanes. The powerful allrounder is only 13 games into her WBBL career but the heavy hitter is a match winner if ever there was one. The middle-order performer held the competition-high strike rate of 178.42 last season and shows no signs of slowly down for the summer ahead.

Play begins at 10am (ACDT) on Sunday, and the playing XI will be announced at the toss. The match will be available via cricket.com.au and the CA Live app, and Kayo.

Adelaide Strikers squad:

Megan Schutt (c)

Darcie Brown

Sarah Coyte

Katie Mack

Tahlia McGrath

Tegan McPharlin

Annie O'Neil

Bridget Patterson

Madeline Penna

Katie Perkins (NZ)

Alex Price

Amanda-Jade Wellington

Laura Wolvaardt (SA)


Hobart Hurricanes squad:

Corinne Hall (c)
Nicola Carey
Brooke Hepburn
Hayley Jensen
Hayley Matthews
Sasha Moloney
Rachel Priest
Chloe Rafferty
Amy Smith

Naomi Stalenberg

Emma Thompson

Chloe Tryon

Belinda Vakarewa