WBBL bowler gets nervous in front of her mum before claiming four wickets

WBBL bowler gets nervous in front of her mum before claiming four wickets
WBBL bowler gets nervous in front of her mum before claiming four wickets

Nicola Hancock celebrates a wicket for the Stars against the Sixers at Junction Oval.AAP: George Salpigtidis

It would be nerve-wracking enough debuting for your new Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) team against a side littered with Australia's Twenty20 stars, let alone doing so in front of your mother who has previously never watched you play cricket.

Key points: Nicola Hancock claimed the prize wicket of Ellyse Perry among her four dismissals for the Stars Perry and Alyssa Healy both hit half-centuries for the Sixers, who made 7-165 Perth Scorchers beat Hobart Hurricanes on the back of an Ellyse Villani half-century

That was the scenario presented to Melbourne Stars bowler Nicola Hancock before she announced herself in the WBBL with a magnificent four-wicket haul to help plot a seven-wicket defeat of defending champions the Sydney Sixers.

Hancock, an unassuming fast bowler who previously played with the Hobart Hurricanes in the WBBL, claimed the prize wicket of Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry (58) and was later on a hat-trick during the Sixers' innings of 7-165.

She finished with the figures of 4-22 from her four overs at Melbourne's Junction Oval, prior to the Stars batters doing the job in the run chase to overhaul the Sixers' total for the loss of just three wickets.

Bowling to the likes of Perry and fellow Australia squad members Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner did not faze Hancock, but playing in front of her mother for the first time was a daunting prospect for the 23-year-old.

"I was incredibly nervous today," Hancock said.

"I saw my mum walk in last minute, she's never been to one of my cricket games and I got the gut feeling of being sick."

Hancock had no idea she was on a hat-trick late in the Sixers' innings, after she had removed Dane van Niekerk (2) and Marizanne Kapp (0) with consecutive balls with the final two balls of her third over.

"I didn't realise and then they [the crowd] were clapping me in," Hancock said.

"I was like 'oh, they probably want someone to hit a six' and then I realised probably a couple of metres from the crease and I was like 'oh yeah, I've messed that chance up'."

Hancock missed out on the player of the match award, with the honours going to Stars opener Lizelle Lee, who smashed an unbeaten 102 from just 56 deliveries.

Perry and Healy had earlier showed they were feeling no ill effects from celebrating Australia's victory in the World T20 final in Antigua last Sunday morning (AEDT).

The Sixers' opening pair put on 108 for the first wicket, with Hancock making the breakthrough when she dismissed Perry after she had made 58 from 40 balls.

Healy, the World T20 player of the tournament, hung around for a while longer but her innings came to an end on 70 (47 deliveries) when she was caught by Georgia Elwiss from the bowling of Erin Osborne.

Villani does the business for the Scorchers

Australia captain Meg Lanning fell cheaply in her WBBL return but it mattered little as national teammate Ellyse Villani powered the Perth Scorchers to a six-wicket defeat of the Hurricanes.

Villani top-scored with 58 in the first match of the double header at Junction Oval, as the Scorchers chased down their target of 144 with three balls to spare.

Lanning's return to the WBBL in new colours after shoulder surgery forced her to sit out last season had loomed as a highlight of the opening weekend.

She averaged a competition-high 51.16 during her two seasons with Melbourne Stars.

But leading an imposing top order also featuring fellow T20 World Cup winners Villani and Nicole Bolton, Lanning faced just 12 balls before Brooke Hepburn had her caught behind on 8.

Photo Meg Lanning is caught behind by Hobart Hurricanes wicketkeeper Georgia Redmayne.

AAP: George Salpigtidis

Bolton (4) and Heather Graham (7) also fell cheaply but Villani steadied the ship before her superb knock came to an end on 58, attempting to ramp a Sasha Moloney delivery and caught by Alex Hartley at short fine leg.

Lauren Ebsary (40 not out) and Chloe Piparo (26 not out) steered the Scorchers home with a fifth-wicket partnership that highlighted the team's impressive batting depth.

ABC/AAP

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