13 Aug, Saturday

ACES off the Mark; HEARTS miss it


ACES off the Mark; HEARTS miss it

Praneel HiraFeatured

HEARTS vs. Hinds | Hinds won by nine wickets

The Auckland HEARTS have suffered a second Dream11 Super Smash defeat after a Jess Watkin special at the Outer Oval today.

Batting first, the HEARTS were in early trouble in the powerplay. Last week’s heroic batting duo Katie Perkins and Holly Huddleston were again tasked with rebuilding the HEARTS innings after the loss of Anna Peterson, Lauren Down and Bella Armstrong in the opening 21 balls of the match.

Perkins (34) and Huddleston had little choice but to take their time, adding 45 for the fourth wicket, before Hannah Rowe returned to the attack. The Hinds co-captain found Perkins’ outside edge leaving the HEARTS in need of a finisher. 

Regina Lilii (17*) delivered with two boundaries late on to lift the HEARTS to 120/5, while Huddleston top-scored with an unbeaten 37 off 32 balls.

While Huddleston struck early on with the help of a nimble Peterson at mid-on, the defence didn’t exactly go to plan. The bowlers built enough pressure throughout the powerplay, but several chances escaped the HEARTS grasp. 

Jess Watkin made the most of her good fortune hitting an unbeaten 68 off 48 balls, adding 109 for the second wicket with Natalie Dodd (49*) to seal victory for the Hinds.

ACES vs. Stags | ACES won by 17 runs

The Auckland ACES put in a performance to be proud at the Outer Oval, taking victory over the Stags by 17 runs.

Led by an excellent partnership between Mark Chapman and skipper Robert O’Donnell, the ACES posted an outstanding total of 199/6. The innings had three phases with Martin Guptill and Sean Solia providing a flying start. Solia hit five boundaries during his 13-ball 21, while Guptill cleared the rope twice on his way to 29.

On his return to the side, Chapman (73) wasted little time in kicking the innings into overdrive. The left-hander raced out to fifty from just 21 balls and was at his classical best, hitting 9 fours and 3 sixes in total. O’Donnell (61), on the other hand, was patient to start but he too peppered 5 fours and 3 sixes.

Both Chapman and O’Donnell would be dismissed from their 34th delivery, having added 85 for the fourth wicket. The third phase saw the Stags win the death overs, keeping the ACES below 200 by taking wickets from the final two deliveries. For the Stags, Doug Bracewell, Blair Tickner and Josh Clarkson each picked up two wickets apiece.

Having seen what the Stags batsmen have put together through the Super Smash, the game was by no means over. The ACES had their first wicket when, after three tidy overs from the ACES seamers, Dane Cleaver was bowled attempting to sweep Louis Delport’s first delivery.

The moment of the ACES fielding effort came four balls later when George Worker appeared to have collected six down the ground before a flying Martin Guptill juggled a spectacular catch mid-dive at long-on. Delport had two and the ACES had a semblance of control.

Despite the best efforts of Tom Bruce (52) and Will Young (37), the ACES were able to build pressure and drive up the required run-rate. The pressure told with two fine run-outs by O’Donnell and Glenn Phillips, before Ross ter Braak (2-31) struck twice to snuff out any Stags momentum before the death overs.

Doug Bracewell provided some late entertainment and briefly threatened to steal the game away from the ACES, but the hard work had been done and Will Somerville closed out the ACES first Super Smash victory of the season.

The ACES and HEARTS are next in action on Friday at Seddon Park against the Knights and Spirit.