Natalie Dodd in action for Central Hinds. © Getty Images

Defending champions Central Hinds continued their unbeaten run in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield 2019-20, defeating Wellington Blaze by 44 runs. In the other two clashes in round three, Auckland Hearts and Northern Spirit came out on top against Canterbury Magicians and Otago Sparks respectively.

At Karori Park, Hinds’ posted nine for 217, thanks to wicketkeeper-batter Natalie Dodd’s 73. Opening the batting, she added 65 with Jess Watkin, who was the aggressive one with a 26-ball 35. There was a brief wobble before Hannah Rowe joined hands with Dodd in a 75-run stand. Rowe also scored 35 but consumed 69 balls.

However, apart from these stands, there weren’t any more significant contributions in Hinds’ innings and eventually, in a bid to accelerate, Dodd was stumped in the 46th over. She had hit just five fours in her knock.

Jess Kerr picked up four for 37 in her 10 overs, while captain Leigh Kasperek picked up two as well.

Jess Kerr of Wellington Blaze in action. © Getty Images

Jess Kerr of Wellington Blaze in action. © Getty Images

Blaze’s run-chase didn’t get off to the best of starts as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Jess McFadyen tried to anchor the innings, but she found little support from the other end. Eventually, she finished with 63, getting run out in the 40th over.

Watkin picked up three wickets, hastening the end of Blaze’s innings who were bowled out for 173.

In the clash between Auckland Hearts and Canterbury Magicians at Eden Park Outer Oval, Saachi Shahri and Natasha van Tilburg (35) added 81 for the second wicket, which formed the backbone of Hearts’ 258 for six. Shahri missed her half century by three runs, becoming the first of Frances Mackay’s two wickets.

Katie Perkins, coming in at four, scored a 73-ball 60, hitting four fours in her knock. She kept going from one end although she kept losing partners at the other.

Magicians began decently but lost three wickets for one run in the middle, before losing their last five for just nine runs. Laura Hughes (34) and Ella Chandler (29) added 65 for the sixth wicket before the final collapse. Holly Huddleston and Bella Armstrong picked up three wickets apiece, with the former being on the verge of picking up a hat-trick.

Hayley Jensen in action. © Getty Images

Hayley Jensen in action. © Getty Images

In the final match of the day at the University of Otago Oval, Otago Sparks were steamrolled by Northern Spirit. Hayley Jensen’s unconquered 64 stood out like a shining star in the night sky as the Sparks were bowled out for 120. Eimear Richardson picked up three wickets while Lily Mulivai, Caroline Esterhuizen and Lauren Heaps picked up a brace each.

Spirit easily chased down the total, getting home by nine wickets. Katie Gurrey continued her fine form, finishing unbeaten on 80 off just 67 balls, hitting 14 fours in the process. Getting rid of Alisha Rout for a duck was the only solace for the Sparks bowlers.

Brief Scores:

Central Hinds 217/9 in 50 overs (Natalie Dodd 73, Jess Watkin 35, Hannah Rowe 35; Jess Kerr 4-37) beat Wellington Blaze 173 all out in 49.2 overs (Jess McFadyen 63; Jess Watkin 3-28) by 44 runs.

Auckland Hearts 258/6 in 50 overs (Katie Perkins 60, Saachi Shahri 47; Frankie Mackay 2-30) beat Canterbury Magicians 134 all out in 36.5 overs (Laura Hughes 34; Hannah Huddleston 3-42) by 124 runs.

Otago Sparks 120 all out in 41 overs (Hayley Jensen 64*; Eimear Richardson 3-35) lost to Northern Spirits 121/1 in 23.4 overs (Katie Gurrey 80*; Hayley Jensen 1-24) by nine wickets.