This weekend is a massive one for the inaugural WBBL. Not only are there 13 of the 56 league games being played over the three days, but two of the games - Heat v Strikers (Sat pm) and Sixers v Scorchers (Sun am) are on free-to-air-television in Australia (ONE). It is important for the competition that these games are good to watch - runs, wickets, catches. The men's Big Bash has also started now, so comparisons will inevitably be drawn. The girls really need to put on a performance to showcase what women's cricket is all about.
Hopefully the Sixers will perform better against the Scorchers than they did at Perth last week, where they were bowled out for 81 and lost by nine wickets. They have lost four from four, and they have lost them all badly, so they must be hoping that at least one of their stars (Perry, Healy, Kapp, McGlashan or Marsh) come off in a big way.
The first game features the Heat, who got their campaign on track winning their last three games to stand 3/3. The Strikers however lost twice to the surprise league-leaders the Hobart Hurricanes. In one game they went down by just two runs, but in the other they were bowled out for just 83 runs and lost by 9 wickets. I think they will do better this weekend and this could be one of the games of the weekend.
Other matches to watch out for are...
Thunder v Strikers on Friday - the Thunder have only played one game against the under-performing Sixers, and this could be a much sterner test for Stafanie Taylor and co. The Strikers really need to get their weekend off to a good start.
Hurricanes v Scorchers on Saturday (two games) - The unbeaten Hurricanes take on the Scorchers twice on their visit to Sydney. The Scorchers haven't really hit their straps yet, but they have the firepower to cause the Hurricanes a few headaches this weekend.
Stars v Hurricanes on Sunday - Stars third game of the weekend is against the Hurricanes. Meg Lanning smashed her team through the first weekend of fixtures with 75* and 90. The Hurricanes will be hoping to get her early and see what the rest of the Star's batting line-up is made of.
Heat v Thunder on Sunday - this is the last game of the weekend. It will be both the Heat's and the Thunder's fourth in three days, with the Thunder travelling from their first game of the day at Allan Border Field to the Gabba, where the Heat will have played in the morning. It is not something the players are used to, so the Heat might just have the edge.
Come Sunday night the league table could look very different from the way it looks now (see here), I think the Heat, Stars, Scorchers and Thunder will be at the top. At the bottom I think it will remain the Renegades and the Sixers, but you never know in T20.