Super Sophie punishes sloppy Hinds; powers Blaze atop the table
Dropping Sophie Devine isn’t a good sign and when you do that four times in a day, you ought to be punished. Similar was the case with Central Hinds as the 31-year-old took advantage of the chances to hit a stunning 58-ball 88 at Basin Reserve to see Wellington Blaze to a 37-run victory on Sunday (January 31).
The allrounder’s 14th half-century for Blaze – fourth in the ongoing tournament – accounted more than half her team’s 162 for 5. In reply, the Hinds were restricted for 125 for 6 in 20 overs in addition to losing Jess Watkin midway in the innings due to a dislocated finger. She didn’t come out to bat as a result.
The win took Blaze leapfrog Canterbury Magicians at the top of the table with a match to play. Batting first, Devine took some time initially before opening her arms against the likes of Claudia Green and Watkin hitting them for a couple of boundaries in an over each. Along with Maddy Green (16), Devine put on 73 runs for the first wicket.
The New Zealand captain then joined hands with Amelia Kerr to stitch together 62 runs for the second wicket as Devine reached her fifty in 33 balls. Her first reprieve came when she was on 54 and was pit down on consecutive deliveries off Georgia Atkinson. She was third time lucky on 62 and a fourth time at 82.
Kerr, on the other hand, was lucky too as she was dropped twice on her way to 38 from 29 balls. Devine was finally dismissed when she holed out to substitute fielder Monique Rees at mid-on. Blaze have reached 135 runs from 17.2 overs by then.
In reply, Hinds lost Emily Cunningham, Atkinson and Anlo van Deventer within the powerplay with just 27 runs on board before Natalie Dodd and Hannah Rowe revived the sinking ship. The duo put on 75 runs for the fourth wicket.
However, a couple of quick dismissals in the form of Rowe (39) and Claudia (two) derailed the chase once again as they finished 37 runs short. Dodd remained unbeaten at 61 off 55 balls. Devine also took a wicket with the ball.
Brief scores: Wellington Blaze 162/5 (Sophie Devine 88, Amelia Kerr 38; Georgia Atkinson 1/26) beat Central Hinds 125/6 (Natalie Dodd 61*, Hannah Rowe 39; Leigh Kasperek 1/19) by 37 runs.