White Ferns Super Smash
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Northern Spirit clashed with Central Hinds at the Bay Oval. Spirit cruised to a five-wicket win over their opponents, as Kate Anderson showcased her all-round abilities.

Batting first, Hind lost wickets at regular intervals, as the Spirit bowlers made frequent breakthroughs. They struggled to reach score 113-7 at the end of their allotted overs, with a seventh-wicket partnership, of 31 runs, between R. Mair and M. Greig, salvaging the innings.

Jess Watkin top scored with 27 off 25, while Greig was the only other batter to reach the 20-run mark. She made a quickfire 12-ball-24, before being run out. Remarkably, both these innings boasted three sixes each, but neither batter scored a four.

For Spirit, their bowlers were exemplary. E. Richardson and Anderson finished with identical figures of 2-17 of their respective overs, while Richardson bowled a maiden over as well. Though a rare occurrence in T20 cricket, this match saw two maiden overs. The other was bowled by Watkin, in the second innings.

In reply, opener Bernadine Bezuidenhout set the tone for the chase early on. She scored a brisk 13-ball-16 to show the intent of the batting unit, before departing. C. Gurrey top-scored for her side with a 43-ball-36, anchoring the innings.

Once she fell, Anderson assumed Gurrey’s role, adding a further 27 runs to the total, before falling agonising close to the finishing line. Just 10 runs were required when she departed and F. Leydon-Davis (9* off 6) ensured her side’s victory by guiding them to a five-wicket win, with seven balls to spare.

Though Hind made regular inroads in Spirits batting line-up, the reality was that their total was too low to exert any significant pressure on their opposition. Mair took 2-14, while Wakin and C. Green chipped in with a scalp each. However, their efforts were not enough, as Spirit snuck over the line in the 19th over.

After the match, Anderson spoke to New Zealand Cricket and reflected on her teams winning, saying, “Awesome to get the win. I think we had been good in patches so far this season, so to come out today with a pretty good all-round performance [was good]. Obviously, still things to work on but, happy with the win.”

“I think our fielding probably let us down the other day. We improved on that today and our bowling was much tighter as well,” she continued. “I think bringing in a couple of spinners worked well on this pitch. Real happy with how the team went and to get a win on top, is just great.”

Anderson’s all-round performance was certainly a big contributing factor in her sides win. “I was just trying to bowl and not get hit for a six,” she commented on her bowling. “I think when you bowl spin and see small boundaries, you see it as a bit of a worry. But today, it somehow worked out, so I’ll take it.”

Apart from her bowling, she batted well too and about her knock, she said, “I felt good. I felt good most of the season. My scores probably haven’t reflected that, so to come out today and get the runs when the team needed [them, was good]. I’d like to have been out there at the end, but we got over the rope at the end.”

“I think we’ve struggled in the season so far,” Anderson added, recounting the chase. “We’ve been a bit slow in opening the batting and we changed that today. The girls tried to come out attacking. It might not have worked at the very start, but in the middle, it did a little bit, which took the pressure off later on. When it got the sixes (runs an over), it should have been easy. Just try to get a run-a-ball and the bad balls come, so you have to make sure you put them away.”

“When I got out,” she elaborated further. “I said to Sam (Curtis) at the other end, ’10 to go, surely you’ve got this’ and they did it pretty easily at the end, with an over to spare. So, really happy for the team.