Early dots and quick dismissals hamstring Hurricanes again

Richa Ghosh was a shining light in a second disappointing loss for the Hurricanes. (Photo: Hobart Hurricanes/Twitter)

A slow start to their batting innings has hampered the Hobart Hurricanes once again.

After Saturday’s loss to the Melbourne Renegades which saw the girls in purple only put up 121 runs, it was a similar 9/125 effort on Sunday at Blundstone Arena.

The Hurricanes lost the toss and took to a pitch with plenty of movement first, leading to early edges for top order batters Rachel Priest (2 for 5) and Mignon du Preez (1 for 4).

They found themselves 3/26 after six overs, and 3/53 after 10. This was shockingly similar to the game against the Renegades, 3/58 at the same point.

Teenage batting sensation Richa Ghosh quickly became the settler, tearing through three sixes after struggling early with dot after dot. She would eventually finish just shy of a half century on 46 (46) in only her second WBBL match.

Teammate Nicola Carey was full of praise for the youngster post-match.

“There’s some positives to take out of it… Richa Ghosh batted really well,” she told The Inner Sanctum.

“Without her, who knows what the total would have looked like.”

Ghosh made more runs than all of her top order teammates combined. Priest and du Preez fell for a combined three runs off nine balls, while fellow teenager Ruth Johnston found two boundaries but also fell quickly after facing only 14 balls.

With another game to come on Tuesday against the Melbourne Stars, Carey is aware that something needs to change with bat in hand quickly.

“Disappointing is a good way to describe it… we probably didn’t score enough runs,” she said.

“We’ve had two close games now. Both games have been fairly similar trends for us in terms of not scoring enough runs.

“Our bowlers have done really well to work with those totals and take the games as deep as we have. We’ve got to start putting some more runs on the board but we know that, and we’ve spoken about it.

“We’re lucky we’re only two games in and it’s something we can rectify so early in the season. We’ve got the batters that can do it, we’ve just got to put it together on Tuesday.”

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The result could see a shuffling of the order for the Hurricanes, looking to recent form to get the batting lineup back to its best.

Carey herself could look to move a few places up, while du Preez could benefit from switching down to coming in at five or six. She put up some strong totals for the Manchester Originals earlier in the year batting fifth, with 24 (16) a highlight, though she also put up 31 (27) including five boundaries batting third.

Ghosh played the conditions strongly despite the bouncy wicket, and already looks to be the Hurricanes’ breakout star of the tournament.

Spin sensation Molly Strano put her hand up to be an all-rounder for a day, showing off her batting skills with a late 11 (7) to add just a little extra to the lacking total.

Bowling masterclass

While the batting pattern unfortunately continued, the consistency of the Hurricanes’ bowling was nothing to sneeze at.

Strano took her first wicket in purple after removing both Ash Gardner (3 for 3) and Ellyse Perry (27 for 33) with the help of captain and wicketkeeper Rachel Priest.

Her final figures of 3/19 with an economy of 4.75 was well worth celebrating despite the loss.

“Molly was exceptional with the ball today,” Carey said.

“Tay [Vlaeminck] and Belinda [Verakawa] up front as well. There’s some positives to take out of it.

“Priesty was on fire behind the wickets. Really good with a couple of stumpings behind the stumps as well.

“It’s really important that our bowlers are creating a lot of chances, and it’s nice to see our group taking them early when they come.”

Vlaeminck’s early dismissal of the ever dangerous Alyssa Healy was another strong positive for the Hurricanes.

She’s gained a reputation for her speedy deliveries, and today was no different. Her blistering pace got the better of the veteran, screaming towards the stumps bright and early in her first bowling over.

“That’s always handy… I’ve seen ‘Midge’ have some pretty good innings against us for the Sixers,” Carey laughed.

“Tay bowled a really nice delivery to her and had her bowled, so got us off to a really good start with those two early wickets. That partnership towards the middle got us a little bit, and they didn’t really have too many runs to score.”

The only knock that could be taken on the Hurricanes bowling game was a few stray fullies that found their way straight to the boundary courtesy of Shafali Verma and Ellyse Perry.

With a clear path to improvement, the Hurricanes will now look towards the Melbourne Stars on Tuesday. The Stars put up 1/99 in a limited 11 overs due to rain delays, so could provide another scoring threat.

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About Alex Catalano 257 Articles
Alex is a studying journalist from Melbourne with an obsession for all things Aussie rules, and a commitment to providing equal coverage and recognition to women's sport. A sport all-rounder, Alex reports on Aussie rules, football, basketball, netball, cricket and esports.

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