Jess Watkin (L) and Natalie Dodd (R) celebrate their record partnership. © Getty Images

Jess Watkin’s career-best List-A score, and her record-shattering 216-run opening stand with Natalie Dodd headlined Central Hinds’ rain-hit encounter against Wellington Blaze in the fourth round of the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield at Karori Park in Wellington on Sunday (December 1). The burly right-hander thrashed a 124-ball 158 to blaze her way to the second highest-individual score in Central Hinds’ history. She fell only 11 runs short of Anlo van Deventer’s unbeaten 169 that came earlier this year.

Having elected to bat in a rain-curtailed encounter, Watkin and Dodd got their team off to a tremendous start, batting together for 35 overs. While the former was busy smashing the bowlers around the park, Dodd brought up her second consecutive half-century, compiling a patient 100-ball 75. The pair’s 216-run stand saw them smash the opening wicket partnership record in New Zealand List A cricket, surpassing the previous mark of 199 set by Paula Flannery and Elizabeth Scurr of Otago Sparks against Auckland Hearts in 2004-05.

Eventually, Dodd was the first to be dismissed by leg-spinner Deanna Doughty. Watkin, however, continued on her merry way, bludgeoning 17 fours and 3 sixes in her knock, before she eventually holed out to Leigh Kasperek in the final over. Her efforts underpinned Central Hinds’ total of 260 for 3 in their 40 overs.

However, the return of the rain in the second half of the match, meant points had to be shared between the two sides. Despite the unfavourable result Central Hinds maintain their position at the top of the points table.

Over in Auckland, Frances Mackay’s second century of the season went in vain with Auckland Hearts winning a close match against Canterbury Magicians by three wickets.

Contributions from Lauren Down (49), Katie Perkins (44) and Anna Peterson (32) laid the foundation to Auckland’s 221-run chase. Although Canterbury continued to take wickets at regular intervals, with Mackay (2-29) and G Sullivan (2-39) toppling the middle order, Holly Huddleston’s unbeaten 22 got the hosts over the line with 2.4 overs to spare.

 

Frances Mackay acknowledges the crowd. © Getty Images

Frances Mackay acknowledges the crowd. © Getty Images

 

Earlier in the day, Mackay held the innings together with an unbeaten 112— her 10th List A century— as Canterbury managed a total of 220 for 7 in their 50 overs. She was well supported by Natalie Cox, who came in at no.4 and managed a career-best 57.

Mackay’s 149-ball knock, which included as many as 14 fours, saw her also cross 4000 List-A runs along the way. It was only the 12th occasion in the history of the competition that a player had carried her carried her bat through the innings. However, her efforts did little to secure a win for her team.

In the final match of the day, Northern Spirit snuck to a one-wicket win in the final over of the match, managing consecutive wins over Otago Sparks to rise to second in the points table.

Spirit almost made a hash of what was looking like a straightforward chase going in to the last over. With Kate Anderson already having brought up her second List-A century, and the team requiring only one run off the final over, victory looked a mere formality for Spirit. However, Hayley Jensen, the New Zealand international, had different ideas.

The medium pacer bowled Olivia Lobb off the first delivery before effecting two run outs— including that of Anderson— off the following two balls leaving Spirit with one run required and only one wicket in hand. She held her nerve for a while longer, managing to deliver two dot balls to Carolyn Esterhuizen before the final pair scrambled a single off the last delivery to get their team over the line.

Earlier in the day, Sparks put together a challenging total of 271 for 7 riding on half-centuries from Jensen (83) and Millie Cowan (77). However, Katie Gurrey carried on her splendid form racing to a half-century to get Spirit off to a good start. A half-century from Felicity Leydon Davis (60) and her 79-run stand with Anderson (102) put Spirit on course for a straightforward victory before Jensen’s five-for derailed the chase.

Brief Scores:

Central Hinds 260/3 in 40 overs (Jess Watkin 158, Natalie Dodd 75; Leigh Kasperek 2-46) vs Wellington Blaze 16/0 in 2.5 overs. No result.

Canterbury Magicians 220/7 in 50 overs (Frances Mackay 112*, Natalie Cox 57; Bella Armstrong 4-36) lost to Auckland Hearts 221/7 in 47.2 overs (Lauren Down 49, Katie Perkins 44; F Mackay 2-29, G Sullivan 2-39) by three wickets.

Otago Sparks 271/7 in 50 overs (Hayley Jensen 83, Millie Cowan 77; Eimear Richardson 2-58) lost to Northern Spirit 272/9 in 50 overs (Kate Anderson 102, Felicity Leydon-Davis 60; H Jensen 5-40) by one wicket.