The Hearts and the Aces both struggled batting first against the Canterbury Magicians and Kings, in front of a packed house at Eden Park Outer Oval.
The Magicians looked right at home on a muggy Auckland afternoon. Their bowlers were able to tie the Hearts batsmen down until the pressure brought wickets.
Lauren Down and Anna Peterson got things off to a bright start, but Down was the first runout of the afternoon for 16.
The Hearts then lost three wickets for five runs in the middle overs, killing momentum.
Holly Huddleston came in after Peterson was caught for 12, and looked assured for her 36 from 31 balls to give the Hearts a score they could bowl at.
The Magicians put together an opening partnership that would take some breaking. Frankie Mackay (30) played some solid drives down the ground to the boundary, backed up by Kirsty Nation. The pair made 55 before Mackay went LBW to Peterson in the tenth over.
The Hearts made sure the Magicians didn’t have things their own way. Peterson’s off spin proved hard to get away, capped off by a tremendous diving catch from her own bowling to remove Nation for 33 from 36.
However, the Magicians didn’t panic, biding their time until Peterson was bowled out. Then Kate Ebrahim and Erin Bermingham were able to finish the job and give the Magicians an eight wicket win.
The story of the day was Kings bowler Kyle Jamieson shattering the NZ domestic T20 best bowling figures. He claimed 6-7 off four overs, in a match where seam bowling dominated.
Jamieson was on fire from the start, removing Sean Solia in the third over. He then dismissed Aces new signing James Vince for 18, along with and Glenn Phillips in the fifth.
Robbie O’Donnell went to an absolute screamer from Cole McConchie at mid off. McConchie leaped high and then wide through the air, hanging on to the ball one-handed to leave the Aces struggling at 60/5.
Roneel Hira hit out in typically aggressive fashion for 17 until Jamieson stopped him in his tracks, before Will Somerville hit two sixes and two fours to top-score with 27 off 24.
The final score of 110 when Somerville got out didn’t quite look big enough.
The Aces weren’t going down without a fight, however. Mitchell McClenaghan got a head of steam up early to and dismissed Chad Bowes and Steven Murdoch in his first over. When Ben Lister dismissed Andrew Ellis, the Kings were suddenly 19/3 and the game was in the balance.
Leo Carter (25) and captain Cole McConchie (47*) were able to rebuild and get things back on track.
McClenaghan came back on and got the breakthrough, Carter caught behind. Lister then followed up, removing Cameron Fletcher for four.
With McClenaghan bowled out, the Aces had to roll the dice and hope they picked up more wickets.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. McConchie hit the winning runs with 16 balls left.
The Hearts and Aces are on the road again this weekend, heading down to Hamilton to take on the Northern Spirit and the Knights this Sunday.
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