WBBL: Hurricanes brace for Sixers' Launceston visit

ENGLISH BLOOD: Hurricanes star import Heather Knight with head coach Salliann Briggs. Pictures: Paul Scambler
ENGLISH BLOOD: Hurricanes star import Heather Knight with head coach Salliann Briggs. Pictures: Paul Scambler

Hobart Hurricanes' WBBL coach Salliann Briggs says finding grit and a ruthless attitude will help turn her side's season around ahead of a Sydney Sixers clash in Launceston on Wednesday morning.

Since starting the season with consecutive wins over Melbourne Stars, the Hurricanes have dropped five games including a last-ball defeat to Melbourne Renegades and a three-run loss to Adelaide Strikers.

One game off bottom spot at the halfway point of the season, the Hurricanes must win Wednesday's clash with last season's minor premier to stay in touch with a competitive middle bracket.

Despite sitting outside the top four, the Sixers have the best win-loss ratio of any side in the league and boast Southern Stars talents Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner.

"We know that they've got some good Australian players, they've got a lot of strength at the top of the order," Briggs said.

"But we've got some really good bowlers that have come into this side who are performing well with the new ball and I reckon we've got a pretty good record with the new ball this year.

"We're excited by that challenge actually because we know if we can make inroads early I think we can really capitalise on bowling them out. We're still happy that we've played some really good cricket."

The Hurricanes' other prominent English face - star opener Heather Knight - sang from the same hymn sheet after a promising start to her fourth WBBL campaign.

Set to play her 50th game in purple on Wednesday, the 28-year-old England captain scored consecutive half-centuries at the turn of the month and has played a handy role with the ball.

"We're not far away, I think we've played some brilliant cricket we just haven't quite done it in those really close moments," Knight said.

"So it's making sure we're really switched on when we know it's a real key time of the game and our key players trying to step up and lead in those situations and get us over the line."

Knight at training on Tuesday.

Knight at training on Tuesday.

The Hurricanes are yet to get the better of the Sixers in 10 attempts, including semi-final defeats in 2015-16 and 2016-17, but appear a much stronger outfit than the side that finished bottom with just two wins in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

The Sixers have made the grand final every season for a return of two titles, and made history earlier this month when Healy and Perry batted out the full 20 overs against the Stars for 0-199 - the WBBL's highest-ever partnership and third highest total.

Wednesday's game starts at 11am and is free for spectators.

CANES SQUAD

  • Corinne Hall (C), Nicola Carey, Erin Fazackerley, Maisy Gibson, Brooke Hepburn, Heather Knight, Sasha Moloney, Meg Phillips, Emily Smith, Chloe Tryon, Belinda Vakarewa, Tayla Vlaeminck, Fran Wilson
This story Hurricanes prepare grit for Sixers' Launceston visit first appeared on The Examiner.