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The stand-alone WBBL season gets underway tonight when the Sydney Sixers take on their cross-town rivals, the Sydney Thunder, at the iconic North Sydney Oval. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:40pm AEDT.
The Sydney Sixers went down in a thrilling final last season to the Brisbane Heat and will be keen to go one better this year.
With the line up they have, the Sixers will be hot favourites to do just that. They have the best batting line up in the competition, featuring Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry and Ash Gardner.
Healy is in career-best form and the Thunder will need to get her early to prevent a big total from the Sixers.
The bowling attack is also strong, with South African Marizanne Kapp and Perry forming a lethal combination.
The Sydney Thunder have undergone a lot of change in the off-season, losing Indian Harmanpreet Kaur, West Indian Stafanie Taylor and Australian representative Nicola Carey.
However, they have picked up some promising talent, headlined by Pakistani allrounder, Nida Dar, South African quick Shabnim Ismail and young prodigy Phoebe Litchfield.
Rachael Haynes and Rachel Priest head up a strong-looking line-up, with Naomi Stalenberg likely to bat at no 3 which could help her surge toward Australian honours.
Early season form is hard to gauge, so I am going to go out on a limb and tip an upset, with no confidence whatsoever.
The Sixers won’t have seen much of the new Thunder recruits and I think they will shine through to give the Sydney Thunder a tight win.
Sydney Thunder by 15 runs or 2 wickets.
When: 7:40pm AEDT
Where: North Sydney Oval
TV: Channel 7 and Fox Cricket
Online: Foxtel app or cricket.com.au
Odds: Sydney Sixers: $1.52; Sydney Thunder: $2.50
Sixers squad: Sarah Aley, Alisha Bates, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Maddy Darke, Ashleigh Gardner (Aus), Alyssa Healy (Aus), Jodie Hicks, Emma Hughes, Marizanne Kapp (SA), Ellyse Perry (Aus) (c), Hayley Silver-Holmes, Dane van Niekerk (SA), Lauren Smith
Thunder Squad: Rachael Haynes (Aus) (c), Sam Bates, Alex Blackwell, Nida Dar (Pak), Hannah Darlington, Rene Farrell, Lisa Griffith, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail (SA), Kate Peterson, Rachel Priest (NZ), Naomi Stalenberg, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson