Sophie Devine blazes through Otago with a sparkling century

Sophie Devine in her attacking best. © cricket.com.au

New Zealand captain Sophie Devine went into history books on Thursday (Jan 14) after recording the fastest century in women’s cricket reaching the three figures in just 36 balls to lead Wellington Blaze to a thumping 10-wicket victory against Otago Sparks in the ongoing Super Smash.

Devine, who after returning from WBBL was playing her first game in eight weeks plundered nine fours and the same number of sixes finished with an unbeaten 108 in 38 balls. Such was the hitting from the right-handed opener, Blaze romped home in 8.4 overs.

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Coincidentally, Devine’s ton is the 100th hundred in women’s T20 cricket and also the first time a player has recorded her century inside 10 overs of an innings. It was also the fastest T20 century recorded in New Zealand domestic cricket, beating male counterpart  Tim Seifert’s 40-ball ton in 2017 for Northern Districts.

Devine’s century was also two balls faster than the previous best that was held by West Indies swashbuckling allrounder Deandra Dottin who took 36 balls to reach three figures against South Africa in 2010.

Earlier, opting to bat first, Sparks made a steady start with Millie Cowan (29) and Polly Inglis (19) stitching 46 runs for the first wicket before the former was dismissed by Leigh Kasperek. Inglis followed suit soon clean bowled by Amelia Kerr.

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Hayley Jensen (35) and Katie Martin (27) then took up the mantle to steady the ship with a 63-run third-wicket partnership, but once that was broken it was all Blaze bowlers that took the centre stage with a flurry of wickets towards the end. Sparks finished at 128/7 in 20 overs.

“I was really nervous this morning,” Devine said after play. “Whenever you have a bit of an extended break away from the game, you get nervous about (whether) you can come back into it. So it was just (nice) to spend some time in the middle and get a few out of the screws.

“Sometimes I can get a little bit carried away … and I get a bit over eager and play some rash shots so it was nice to stick to some decent cricket shots today and finish the job.”

Brief scores: Otago Sparks 128/7 (Hayley Jensen 35; Jess Kerr 2/15, Leigh Kasperek 2/20) lost to Wellington Blaze 131/0 (Sophie Devine 108*, Maddy Green 20*) by 10 wickets.