Mandhana helps Hobart Hurricanes open WBBL 2018-19 account

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Smriti Mandhana’s half-century led Hobart Hurricanes to their first win of the ongoing Women’s Big Bash League sea on Sunday (December 9). They, however, are faced with the concern of losing Hayley Matthews to a knee injury.
Matthews (42 off 30) played a significant role in Hurricanes setting the Melbourne Stars an imposing 197 to win at the West Park Oval, which is the highest team total of this season’s WBBL yet. The Stars eventually fell short by 72 after being bowled out for 124 in 16.5 overs thanks to Heather Knight, who returned figures of 3 for 10 in three overs.
Opting to bat, Mandhana and Matthews added 98 for the second wicket before she fell awkwardly in an attempt to turn and return to her crease. She was run out by bowler Nicola Hancock, and immediately needed assistance from the medical staff. Mandhana was handed two lives en route her 41-ball 69 while cameos from batters down the order took Hobart to a strong total.
In response, South Africa’s Lizelle Lee struck three successive boundaries before departing in the opening over. Angela Reakes kept up the momentum in her 24-ball 31 but quick strikes from Hurricanes’ bowlers pegged them back after being reduced to 77 for 5 in a steep chase. Annabel Sutherland offered a bit of resistance with a 14-ball 23, but she fell to Knight in the 16th over before the innings was wrapped up in the next.
Hurricanes will host Sydney Sixers, the reigning champions, at the Blundstone Arena next Saturday, while the Stars will clash against the Perth Scorchers at Melbourne’s Casey Fields.
Brief scores: Hobart Hurricanes Women 196/6 in 20 overs (Smriti Mandhana 69, Hayley Matthews 42; Alana King 2-22) beat Melbourne Stars 124 in 16.5 overs (Angela Reakes 31, Annabel Sutherland 23; Heather Knight 3-10) by 72 runs.