A devastating blow from Alyssa Healy propelled the Sydney Sixers past the Melbourne Stars in a rain-stricken WBBL opener, but Elyse Villani sent a message to the Australian selectors.
Elyse Villani has sent another reminder to the Australian selectors after her powerful display ignited the WBBL opener in Hobart.
The 32-year-old Melbourne Stars hitter continued her excellent recent form by working her way to an undefeated 54 in just 31 balls against the Sydney Sixers.
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She was one of the top scorers in the competition last season, but hasn’t played for Australia in over 18 months.
However, her magnificent shot wasn’t enough on the night, as Alyssa Healy shot herself half a century to help chase the Sixers victory.
But it was Villani’s baseball flair in the attack late in the innings that saw her reap the maximum rewards at the expense of Sixers captain Ellyse Perry.
Perry ran 18 runs on a costly penultimate lap, with Villani explaining how he has worked on his hitting since moving to Tasmania to play in the country.
“We’ve actually been building a little bit of power in Tassie,” Villani said.
“Obviously I made the switch this year and Dan Marsh has taken us under his wing as a new project. He felt like we didn’t spend enough time as players working on our hitting power and I totally agree with him. It’s been amazing to experiment, but I didn’t think I would be able to try it in the first game. “
The game was cut to 11 overs after a significant rain delay and Villani led the Stars to 1/99.
But Healy regained his form with a brilliant 57 runs on just 27 balls when Nicole Bolton (7) and Angela Reakes (3) led the Sixers to a nervous victory by six wickets with four balls remaining.
Blundstone Arena outfields were severely compromised after rain delayed the start of the WBBL and caused players to lose their balance too many times.
“It’s the wettest ice skating rink I’ve ever played on,” said Sixers veteran Alyssa Healy.
“They are not good playing conditions. There are some dodgy hammies around here, I don’t think it’s good for them either. It is treacherous. “
Unfortunately, more rain is forecast for the first weekend.
Indian teenager Shafali Verma was expected to have an immediate hit with the bat, but instead it was her fielding that stole the show for the Sixers.
The 18-year-old was left without Annabel Sutherland with a superb direct side-to-side punch to orchestrate a much-needed breakthrough. Verma is one of eight Indian players in the WBBL this season, the largest contingent of foreign players in the tournament.
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Originally posted as Women’s Big Bash: WBBL07 News and Results