Chasing a moderate target of 201, Hearts innings started on a terrible note when they lost Anna Peterson to Maneka Singh for a duck in the first over. Arlene Kelly joined the skipper in the middle and got into the innings with a couple of boundaries. Down also found her groove soon as she hit Natasha Codyre and Bethany Molony for boundaries.
The pair brought up their century partnership from 135 balls and added another 80 runs before Kelly was dismissed by Xara Jetly for 65. Post Kelly’s dismissal, Down brought up her century from 119 balls with a single off Codyre in the 38th over. In the next over of Codyre, Katie Perkins smashed a boundary as Hearts romped home to an easy win.
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Earlier after electing to bat first, Blaze were reduced to 67 for 4 despite an opening partnership of 45 between Jessica McFadyen and Rebecca Burns as Huddleston struck twice to remove Burns and Caitlin King in consecutive balls.
At the other end, McFadyen scored 51 from 63 balls to take the score past 100 even as wickets continued to fall. A couple of 30s from Jetly and Molony took the Wellington side to 200 as they were bowled out in the last ball of the innings.
For Hearts, Huddleston finished with figures of 4 for 29 from her 10 overs, while Peterson took two wickets.
Over in Seddon Park in Hamilton, Eimear Richardson’s allround performance and skipper Felicity Leydon-Davis’ 88 helped Northern Districts thrash Otago Sparks by 76 runs.
Opting to bat, the Districts got off to a good start with the openers Katey Gurrey and Olivia Lobb putting on 72 runs for the first wicket. Once they were dismissed in quick succession by Saffron Wilson and Eden Carson respectively, Leydon-Davis formed a century partnership with Kate Anderson to take the score to 180 in the 35.4 overs.
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Came into bat in the 36th over, Richardson smashed 55 runs from 34 balls with eight boundaries and was the dominant partner during her 88-run partnership with Leydon-Davis. Districts amassed a total of 292 for 7 from their fifty overs. For Sparks, Carson, Emma Black, and Sophie Oldershaw took two wickets each.
In reply, Sparks were never in the game as they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals with Richardson accounting for Caitlin Blakely, Polly Inglis, and Olivia Gain. With Lucy Boucher also striking thrice, Sparks were reduced to 139 for 8 in 33.2 overs.
It was no.9 Marina Lamplough’s 46-ball 43 run knock that saw the Otago side go past the 200-run mark. She added 35 runs for the ninth wicket with Oldershaw before the leg-spinner became Richardson’s fourth victim and added another 42 runs for the last wicket before Nenci Patel dismissed her in the 47th over. Sparks were eventually bowled out for 216.
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Elsewhere, Central Hinds sneaked home in a thriller by two wickets against Canterbury Magicians at Mainpower Oval in Rangiora.
Opting to bowl, Melissa Hansen dismissed Kate Ebrahim for 12 with the score reading 31 to provide Hinds with a breakthrough. From there, Monique Rees and Georgia Atkinson ran through the batting order to reduce the Magicians’ innings to 95 for 6 in 27 overs.
However, wicket-keeper Laura Hughes and skipper Gabby Sullivan resurrected the innings with a patient partnership of 83. Hughes scored a fifty from 66 balls and Sullivan contributed with a 48-ball 27. Once Jess Watkin dismissed them in the same over with the score reading 178, their innings fell away again and Magicians were eventually skittled out for 182 in 46.4 overs.
In reply, even as wickets fell at the other end Watkin scored a quickfire 66 off 68 balls to take charge of the chase. But leg-spinner Sarah Asmussen dismissed the big-hitting Watkin when the Hinds' score was 124 in the 25th over.
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From 124 for 4, Mikaela Greig and Kate Gaging added another 48 runs to take to take Hinds closer to the chase and it seemed like they will romp home to an easy win. However, Hinds faced a wobble when both the batters were dismissed with the score reading 172. They lost two more wickets before Rees took a single off Jessica Simmons in the 42nd over to take Hinds past Magicians score.
For Magicians, Simmons was the most successful bowler with three wickets to her name, while Sullivan and Asmussen took two wickets each.
Wellington Blaze 200 all out in 50 overs (Jessica McFadyen 52, Bethany Molony 31; Holly Huddleston 4/29) lost to Auckland Hearts 202/2 in 39.2 overs (Lauren Down 104*, Arlene Kelly 65) by eight wickets.
Northern Districts 292/7 in 50 overs (Felicity Leydon-Davis 88, Eimear Richardson 55; Emma Black 2/51) beat Otago sparks: 216/10 in 46.5 overs (Marina Lamplough 43; Eimear Richardson 4/21, Lucy Boucher 3/53) by 76 runs.
Canterbury Magicians 182/10 in 46.4 overs (Laura Hughes 51, Natalie Cox 34; Georgia Atkinson 4/50) lost to Central Hinds 183/8 in 41.5 overs (Jess Watkin 66; Jessica Simmons 3/35, Gabby Sullivan 2/26) by two wickets.