Polly Inglis, Suzie Bates star as Otago Sparks trounce Auckland Hearts in Super Smash 2021-22

Polly Inglis, Suzie Bates star as Otago Sparks trounce Auckland Hearts in Super Smash 2021-22

Suzie Bates (L) and Polly Inglis (R) © Getty Images

An unbeaten century partnership between Polly Inglis and Suzie Bates helped Otago Sparks trounce Auckland Hearts by ten wickets at the Kennards Hire Community Oval in Auckland on Saturday (January 15). Earlier Hayley Jensen took three-wickets to restrict Hearts to a moderate total. With their seventh win, Sparks joined table-toppers Wellington Blaze as they battle for a direct entry into the Grand Finals of the Super Smash 2021-22.

Opting to bat first, Hearts had a good start with skipper Lauren Down and Katie Perkins adding 59 runs for the opening wicket. Once Jensen accounted for Perkins, playing in her 100th T20 match for the Auckland side, and IC Gaze in consecutive deliveries, the Auckland side couldn’t get a move on.

From there, Hearts middle order struggled even as Down continued to score runs at one end. However, Sophie Oldershaw removed Down one run short of her fifty and once that happened Auckland couldn’t kick on in the final few overs. They eventually finished on 106 for six from their 20 overs.

For Sparks, Jensen finished with figures of three for 21 from her four overs, while Emma Black, Eden Carson and Oldershaw picked up one wicket each.

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In the chase, Bates and Inglis played out first two overs before the latter hit two consecutive boundaries off Arlene Kelly’s third over. Bates joined her in the party in the next over with a four off Holly Huddleston and then hit Fran Jonas for another one in the final over of the power play.

At the half-way mark, Sparks were well on their way to a comprehensive win with 66 runs on the board. In the 13th over, Inglis hit Jesse Prasad for a four to bring up her fifty from 46 balls.

The duo continued on their way without any hiccups and Bates finished the match with a couple of Prasad. The veteran New Zealand batter remained not out on a run-a-ball 40, playing the second fiddle to Inglis, who scored an unbeaten 61 off 58 balls.

Brief Scores: Auckland Hearts 106/6 in 20 overs (Lauren Down 49, Katie Perkins 23; Hayley Jensen 3/21) lost to Otago Sparks 107/0 in 16.1 overs (Polly Inglis 61*, Suzie Bates 40*) by ten wickets