‘We’re a force to be reckoned with’: Hinkley breakout performance continues Heat streak

Grace Harris starred again with the bat as the Heat defeated the Hurricanes by 14 runs in Launceston. (Photo: Brisbane Heat - Twitter)

Impressive performances by the Brisbane Heat’s bowlers in the powerplay led by Courtney Sippel and some brilliant batting from its top order, including a break-out knock from Mikayla Hinkley have led to the Heat to an 8 wicket win against the Hobart Hurricanes.

Winning the toss and electing to field first, captain Jess Jonassen threw the ball to 20-year-old Courtney Sippel to bowl the first over of the match. Sippel in her first game of the season replacing Nicola Hancock in the Heat lineup couldn’t have started the bowling innings any better by removing Hobart Hurricanes opener, Rachel Priest first ball.

She dismissed South African Mignon du Preez three balls later leaving the Hurricanes in a disastrous position of 2-4 off the first over.

The Heat bowlers gave the Hurricanes no easy deliveries in the powerplay, mounting pressure with tight bowling and dot balls. Nicola Carey (0 from 4 balls) didn’t last long at the crease after Laura Kimmince took a spectacular catch at point to remove her. Sasha Moloney (0 from 5 balls) soon followed two overs later.

As Richa Ghosh joined Ruth Johnston at the crease, the Hurricanes were 4/15. Johnston and Ghosh built a 60 run partnership before South African Anneke Bosh dismissed Ghosh for 22 runs.

Jess Jonassen became the second player to reach 100 WBBL wickets after she caught Naomi Stalenberg off her own bowling.

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The Hurricanes scored 49 runs off the last five overs thanks to some late hitting from Ruth Johnston (47 off 42), Molly Strano (33 off 24), and Tayla Vlaeminck (11 off 6) accelerating the run rate, pushing their total to 8-132 off 20 overs.

Courtney Sippel (3/25 off four overs, 13 dot balls) and Jess Jonassen (3/14 off four overs, 15 dot balls) were standouts with the ball. Recruit Poonam Yadav (0-26 off four overs, 11 dot balls) was also impressive.

Speaking post-match Mikayla Hinkley said the team believed the score of 132 was under par, but they were very confident that they’d be able to chase the total.

“I think that’s the great thing about this team, we’ve got [the] skill to match any situation and any bowler and I think that makes us a force to be reckoned with,” she said.

“I can’t credit the girls enough, we all just kind of hung in there and stayed composed in the field.”

Tackling a good total, on a difficult wicket set up an interesting run chase, but the Heat’s openers Georgia Redmayne and Grace Harris piled on the runs in the powerplay, scoring 45 runs in six overs.

Harris and Redmayne’s 52 run partnership ended in the seventh over, as Nicola Carey dismissed Redmayne for 22. Carey snared another wicket in the over bowling Georgia Voll for a three-ball duck, giving the Canes a chance.

The wicket of Voll brought 23-year-old Hinkley to the crease. Starting slow, Hinkley took her time before launching hitting boundaries left, right, and centre.

In breakout innings of an unbeaten 49 off 40 deliveries, alongside Harris (57 off 46). Hinkley and Harris guided the Heat to its third straight victory of WBBL|07 making an 86 run partnership steering Brisbane to 2-138 off 18.3 overs, securing the win with nine balls to spare.

After her impressive innings, Hinkley said she was impressed by the top order’s batting.

“Credit to Gracie [Grace Harris], I think she batted really well today and really held her nerve and we were encouraged not only by our teammates but our head coach [Ashley Noffke] to back our skills and play without fear and I think that’s what we did today,” she said.

“Credit to Gracie and Redders [Georgia Redmayne}, I think she started off really well too.”

Hinkley was also proud of the bowlers, praising the efforts of captain Jess Jonassen and youngster Courtney Sippel.

“Jess led from the front once again,” she said.

“A massive shoutout to Courtney Sippel, I think her first game back in the team for the season and she couldn’t have [asked] for a better start than that, taking the wicket on the first ball, [hitting] the top of off [stump].

“That kid’s been training so hard this year and deserved exactly that outcome.”

Despite it being early in the tournament, Hinkley said the Heat are ready and a force to be reckoned with this year.

“It doesn’t matter what situation is thrown at us, we are a team that has trained to be ready and that’s what you’ll see come out for the rest of the competition,” she said.

The Brisbane Heat will remain in Launceston for their match, a rematch against the Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday, October 30th at 7:30 pm.

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