Central Hinds won the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield trophy. ©Twitter/White_Ferns

In the final of New Zealand’s domestic one-day competition Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, Central Hinds triumphed over the Auckland Hearts to win their first title in nine years. This victory proved to be a remarkable turnaround for the Hinds, who had  remained win-less in the Super Smash.

Things went in Hinds’ favour from the start with them hosting the final, then winning the toss. Having elected to bat first, Hinds openers Jess Watkin and Natalie Dodd got their team off to a steady start before the former departed for 20. The formidable pair of Dodd and Anlo van Deventer then continued their destructive ways, having smashed records for their partnership in the previous match. The two put on 90 runs for the second wicket before Dodd was accounted for by the opposing skipper, Maddy Green. She had to walk back for a well-made 81-ball 48. She finished a prolific season with the bat as the tournaments leading run-scorer and broke Hinds’ record for the most runs in a one-day season, amassing 652 in just 11 innings.

Skipper van Deventer fell 34 runs later, on 60, triggering a collapse as Hinds lost six wickets for 46 runs. They were bowled out for 200, with no one else making a significant contribution.

For the Hearts, teenager S. Bowden, playing in her first final, was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with impressive figures of 4-37 off her allotted overs. Arlene Kelly, B. Armstrong and Green claimed a scalp each, while Holly Huddleston took two.

In their reply, the Hearts faltered early, losing three of their top five for ducks, to be reduced to 4-12. Hannah Rowe did most of the damage, picking up the key wickets of White Ferns Lauren Down, Maddy Green and Katie Perkins. Anna Peterson and Huddleston then buckled down to rebuild the innings with their 53-run partnership. However, just as the partnership was looking ominous for the Hinds, M. Hansen broke through to send Peterson back for a struggling 61-ball 26. Huddleston then put on a further 48 runs with Kelly (21) to frustrate the Hinds, but that too was broken before it could do some serious damage, by M. Grieg. Shortly afterwards, Huddleston’s defiant knock also came to an end as she succumbed to the wily off-spin of Jess Watkin. The Hearts lost their remaining three wickets for 32 runs, to be bowled out on 161 in the 47th over. They fell 39 runs short as Hinds claimed the historic trophy.

For Hinds, it were Rowe’s three scalps that put them in the driving seat early, while Rosemary Mair and Watkin’s two wicket hauls did the remainder of the damage.

Reflecting on her sides victory Hinds skipper said, “At the end of the day, you can’t do anything without an excellent team behind you and I’ve got an outstanding unit behind me this year. It’s so special to see how they’re growing this year and how they’ve come from being the young 19-year old lot to this really experienced bunch that have such, such belief in themselves.”