14/04/2024

Nicola Carey will likely be key to the Hobart Hurricanes’ chances of progressing past The Eliminator. (Photo: @HurricanesBBL Twitter)

Yet to stake claim to a WBBL title since the competition’s inception in 2015, the Hobart Hurricanes are looking to move one step closer to glory when they face the Brisbane Heat in The Eliminator.

The Hurricanes enter the much-anticipated encounter with a 7-1-6 record in WBBL|08, culminating in a fourth-placed finish on the table. Meanwhile, the Heat narrowly missed out on a top-two spot, meaning they must take the long road in order to keep their title-winning ambitions alive. 

The last time the two teams met was close to a fortnight ago when it was the Hurricanes who ran away with a six-wicket win. Interestingly, the meeting took place at Karen Rolton Oval, the same venue set to host the all-important Eliminator. 

Speaking to the media in the lead-up to the clash, Hurricanes all-rounder Nicola Carey said that her side will be hoping to replicate its success against the Heat last time around. 

“The Heat obviously have had a really solid season. They’ve got a lot of dangerous players in their line-up, so [that’s] certainly something we’ll be looking at,” Carey told the media. 

“But we’ve gone 1-1 in the season against them. [We] had a win against them out here [Karen Rolton Oval] so hopefully, that’s a bit of luck on our side and we can take that into tomorrow.”

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A further boost to the confidence of the Hurricanes squad is the fact that they also tasted success over fellow finalists the Adelaide Strikers at Karen Rolton Oval this season. Despite jovially labeling it a “second home ground” outside of Tasmania, Carey remains acutely aware of the unpredictable nature of T20 cricket. 

“We really enjoy playing here. Having a bit of success throughout the season obviously is helpful, knowing the conditions, what it’s like out here, and what worked in our favour and what [didn’t],” Carey explained.

“But I guess T20 is pretty fickle. It can be up and down, so the better team on the day I suppose will come away with it.”

A reflection of the significance of the occasion, the Hurricanes’ impending do-or-die clash with the Heat represents the franchise’s first finals appearance since WBBL|02. No member of that side is still wearing purple in 2022.

Carey is looking forward to rewarding the Hurricanes faithful with what will hopefully be a deep run in the WBBL|08 finals series. 

“It’s awesome. It’s obviously been a long-time coming for the Hurricanes and the fans as well so it’s really nice to be in the finals,” Carey said.

“The team’s changed a fair bit over the years, particularly this year. [It’s] a new group and hopefully being in the finals, we can take it one step further and get to the actual Final.”

On a personal note, Carey’s recent inclusion in Australia’s squad for its upcoming tour of India in December comes as welcome news for the 29-year-old. Already with 26 T20 international appearances under her belt, Carey shapes as one of the more experienced members of the playing group to travel to the subcontinent. 

“It’s always nice when you see [Shawn Flegler’s] name pop up on your phone. You sort of get a little bit nervous, it could be a good call [or] a bad call, but it was a good call this time,” Carey recalled. 

“It’s really nice to be a part of that squad. It’s got some incredible names on that list and some new faces this time around as well, so [I’m] really looking forward to getting over there.”

These fresh additions to the Australian squad include former Ireland international Kim Garth, emerging top-order batter Phoebe Litchfield, and current Hurricanes teammate Heather Graham. Carey believes that their selection is a well-deserved reward for effort. 

“I think it’s really exciting to get those faces in there. They’ve been really solid in domestic cricket over the last few years so it’s really cool to see them get their opportunity.”

For now, all of Carey’s attention is likely directed towards helping the Hurricanes clinch their maiden WBBL title.

The Hobart Hurricanes’ clash with the Brisbane Heat is set to take place on Wednesday, November 23 at 7:10 pm (AEST). 

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