It was a case of a batter getting a good score and others rallying around her for the team to get to a good score for Sparks. Bates missed her half century by a run, taking 36 balls and hitting eight fours in her knock of 49. Hers was the third wicket to fall with the score being 88 after close to 12 overs.
That Sparks could score only 58 in the last eight overs tells a lot about Spirit’s bowling as well as Sparks’ own batting. Carolyn Esterhuizen picked up three wickets, including two in the final over to finish with three for 28. Almost all the other bowlers except Lauren Heaps got a wicket each to their name.
Apart from Bates, Jensen and Amanda Wellington scored 21 runs each as the rest failed to put their hands up. Sparks finished their 20 overs with a score of nine for 146.
Spirit were not off to the best of starts, losing Bernadine Bezuidenhout (3) early in the piece. Felcity Leydon-Davis kept going along with Katie Gurrey, before the latter fell for 24 off 23 balls on the last ball of the power play, leaving the side on two for 43.
Wellington, Hannah Darlington and Jensen put a break to their scoring, striking regularly in the middle. Leydon-Davis was dismissed for 40 and was the fifth wicket to fall. With that, Spirit’s hopes of a win pretty much faded.
While Jensen was the pick of the bowlers with three for 22, Wellington and Darlington picked up two wickets apiece with the latter being the most economical of them all.
It was Spirit's third loss, though they sit a spot above Sparks in the points table. Both the sides have two wins each.
Brief Scores: Otago Sparks 146/9 in 20 overs (Suzie Bates 49, Amanda-Jade Wellington 21, Hayley Jensen 21; Carolyn Esterhuizen 3/28) beat Northern Spirit 136/8 in 20 overs (Felicity Leydon-Davis 40, Katie Gurrey 24; Hayley Jensen 3/22, Hannah Darlington 2/16, Amanda-Jade Wellington 2/28) by ten runs.