Put into bat, Hearts got off to a brisk start with Peterson smashing Emma Black for three boundaries in the opening over. She and skipper Lauren Down took the score to 37 at the end of the power play.
Post Down’s dismissal in the seventh over by Gemma Adams, Peterson put on a 74-run partnership with Katie Perkins to take the score over 100 in 14th over. The right-hander got to her fifty in the 12th over bowled by Bhagya Herath with a three, bringing up the milestone from 41 balls.
However, Peterson and Perkins fell in consecutive overs giving the Sparks some hope of restricting the Auckland side to a reasonable total. But Saachi Shahri’s 19-run cameo off 12 balls took Hearts to a competitive total of 156 for 3 from their 20 overs.
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For Sparks, Adams was the pick of the bowlers giving away only 16 runs from her four overs and taking the wicket of Down.
In the chase, Sparks were rocked early with the Auckland opening bowlers Arlene Kelly and Holly Huddleston castling Millie Cowan and skipper Katey Martin inside the first two overs. Huddleston struck again in the sixth over to remove Hayley Jensen for 12 to leave the hosts reeling on 38 for 3 in six overs.
In the next over, the Otago side’s innings went from bad to worse with Bella Armstrong dismissing Caitlin Blakely for a duck. Polly Inglis, watching the carnage from the other end, continued to play her strokes and took on Peterson to hit her for a four and a six in consecutive deliveries. Even as wickets fell at the other end Inglis brought up her fifty in the 15th over bowled by Fran Jonas.
However, it was a hill far too steep to climb for the wicketkeeper-batter and she eventually fell victim to the left-arm spin of Jonas for 62 as Hearts closed in on a big win. Kelly came back to finish the innings off as Sparks were bowled out for 119 in the final over of the match.
Kelly was the most successful bowler for the Hearts with three wickets to her name, while Huddleston and Jesse Prasad took two wickets each.
Auckland Hearts 156/3 in 20 overs (Anna Peterson 68, Katie Perkins 25; Gemma Adams 1/16) beat Otago Sparks 119/10 in 19.5 overs (Polly Inglis 62; Arlene Kelly 3/26, Holly Huddleston 2/17) by 37 runs.