Lauren Down, Arlene Kelly star in Auckland Hearts’ thrilling win

Auckland Hearts won back-to-back matches in Super Smash 2020-21 © Getty Images

Lauren Down’s 63 and pacer Arlene Kelly’s four-wicket haul headlined Auckland Hearts’ thrilling win against Central Hinds in the Super Smash at the Pukekura Park in New Plymouth on Thursday (December 31).

Opting to bat, Down and in-form Anna Peterson got Hearts off to a brisk start, scoring 44 runs from the first six overs. Peterson was the more aggressive of the two as she raised to 22 off the 11 balls she faced in the power play with two sixes to her name.

Post power play, Peterson continued to go for her shots collecting four more boundaries from the next two overs as Down played the role of an anchor from the other end. Hinds eventually got the breakthrough when skipper Jess Watkin struck to remove the dangerous looking Peterson for a 22-ball 41 to end the opening partnership of 80.

However, the fall of Peterson’s wicket didn’t affect the scoring rate with Katie Perkins playing 12-ball cameo to score 20 at number three to take the score past 100 in the 13th over. Post Perkins dismissal, Bella Armstrong and Down added another 46 runs with the Auckland skipper bringing up her fifty from 49 balls. Down eventually remained unbeaten on 63 from 64 balls as the Hearts finished on 158 for 2 from their 20 overs.

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For Hinds, Watkin was the only successful bowler taking the both wickets to fall while giving away only 27 runs from her four overs.

In reply, Hinds got off to a terrible start with the Hearts opening bowlers Kelly and Holly Huddleston ripping through the top-order-including the prized wicket of Watkin- to reduce them to 35 for 3 in 4.5 overs.

Natalie Dodd, who scored a 49 in their loss to Northern District, and Hannah Rowe added 61-runs for the fourth wicket to resurrect the chase before Sarah Carnachan stumped Dodd of the bowling off Jesse Prasad. A few good blows by Mikaela Greig left the Hinds needing 22 from the last eight balls but Kelly removed Greig and Rosemary Mair in successive deliveries to finish her spell.

Kerry-Anne Tomlinson and Georgia Atkinson hit three fours in the first four balls off Huddleston to take the target to nine runs from the last two balls but Hinds couldn’t score any runs from them with Huddleston castling Atkinson in the final delivery of the match.

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Kelly finished with figures of 4 for 28, while Huddleston took two wickets.

Brief Scores:

Auckland Hearts 158/2 in 20 overs (Lauren Down 63, Anna Peterson 41; Jess Watkin 2/27) beat Central Hinds 150/8 in 20 overs (Hannah Rowe 44, Natalie Dodd 28; Arlene Kelly 4/28, Holly Huddleston 2/38) by eight runs.