Hannah Darlington in action for Otago Sparks. © Getty Images

The last league match of the 2019-20 Super Smash was a classic case of a side opting to bat, putting up a score and then bowling exceedingly well to defend it. Otago Sparks were the victors, Canterbury Magicians were the vanquished as the league stage drew to a close on Tuesday (January 14) at the Hagley Oval.

Sparks lost Millie Cowan (1), who hit a fifty in their previous match, and Suzie Bates (0) within the first seven balls. It was then that Katey Martin and Hannah Darlington got together and brought the innings back on track. The duo was in the middle for 49 balls and they stitched together a 57-run partnership.

Martin was the quicker scorer between the two as she made 34 off just 25 balls. She hit six fours in her knock and was one of Georgia Edge’s two wickets. Edge then went on to dismiss Darlington for a run-a-ball 30.

Sparks’ lower order then managed to take them past the 100-run mark and post 122 for seven. Apart from Edge, Frankie Mackay also picked up a couple of wickets.

With not much to defend, Sparks’ bowlers were right on the money. They never let any of the Magicians’ batters settle in. Her effort with the bat notwithstanding, Darlington also chipped in with three wickets – Kirstie Nation (8), Laura Hughes (16) and Jessica Simmons (0) being her victims. Hughes was Magicians’ highest scorer in the innings.

Due to the defeat, Canterbury Magicians finished last in the Super Smash.

Brief Scores: Otago Sparks 122/7 in 20 overs (Katey Martin 34, Hannah Darlington 30; Frankie Mackay 2/12, Georgia Edge 2/13) beat Canterbury Magicians 91 all out in 19.4 overs (Laura Hughes 16, Frankie Mackay 15; Hannah Darlington 3/12) by 31 runs.