Auckland Hearts stun Wellington Blaze; Canterbury Magicians earn final entry

Women's CricZone Staff
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Lauren Down, Arlene Kelly star in Auckland Hearts' thrilling win

Auckland Hearts players celebrate. © Getty Images

Auckland Hearts caused an upset win over Wellington Blaze in the final round of Super Smash T20 pulling off a stunning seven-run victory on Sunday (February 7). Despite securing their spots in the top three, the result of the match had major consequences in the finishing order.

Canterbury Magicians finish with 30 points and earn direct entry to the final on Valentines' Day. Blaze and Hearts will meet once again in the eliminator on February 11 to decide who will be the opposition for Magicians in the summit clash.

Chasing 118 to win, it was cake in the park for Blaze considering the fact the red-hot form Sophie Devine has been in the tournament. But a rare Devine failure on the day proved tough for Blaze as the New Zealand skipper was out cheaply for just six, thanks to Anna Peterson.

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Peterson was in action again soon after dismissing Amelia Kerr for just one before Rebecca Burns was accounted by Arlene Kelly as Blaze slumped to 45 for 3 in 6.2 overs. Captain Maddy Green steadied things with a 34-ball 33 but lacked support from the other end.

However, her dismissal in the 11th over triggered the collapse as Blaze went down from 65 for 4 to 94 for 9 in the 17th over.  Thamsyn Newton and Jess McFadyen went back in the hut in similar fashions – caught short of the crease.

Holly Huddleston returned sent back Georgia Plimmer and Xara Jetly for ducks in an over to almost seal the deal almost Hearts. Earlier, Hearts had a worse start losing Lauren Down, Peterson and Bella Armstrong with just 16 runs on board in the fourth over, two of them going to Devine.

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Katie Perkins (29) and Huddleston (16) got things back on track with a 43-run fourth-wicket partnership but Amelia (2/20) struck a double blow picking up both with identical wrong-uns rattling the poles. Regina Lili'I (17) and Jesse Prasad (18) contributed towards the end to take the score past the 110-run mark.

Devine finished with 4/21 in her four overs including two wickets in the final two balls of the innings.

Brief scores: Auckland Hearts 117 all out in 20 overs (Katie Perkins 29; Sophie Devine 4/21) beat Wellington Blaze 110 all out in 19 overs (Maddy Green 33; Anna Peterson 2/12) by seven runs.