24 Jul, Saturday

HEARTS go back-to-back; ACES pinned by Stags

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HEARTS go back-to-back; ACES pinned by Stags

Praneel HiraFeatured

Team Auckland have split the final matches of 2020, with the HEARTS putting in a fine performance against the Hinds in New Plymouth.

HEARTS vs. Hinds | HEARTS won by eight runs.

Having won the toss and decided to bat first, an excellent opening stand between skipper Lauren Down and Anna Peterson set the HEARTS on their way. 

The pair put on 80 with Peterson flying out of the blocks, hitting 4 fours and 2 impressive sixes over long-off on her way to 41 off 22 balls. The HEARTS first boundary-less over came in the 9th before Hinds skipper Jess Watkin (2-27) tempted Peterson into a slog-sweep in the next over.

Down continued on with Perkins (20) laying a platform for the death overs. The HEARTS skipper brought up her second Super Smash fifty with a sumptuous cover drive. Despite some hustle and bustle from Down (63) and Bella Armstrong (29*), the Hinds fought back at the death, conceding just 20 from the last three overs, to keep the HEARTS to 158/2. 

Arlene Kelly and Holly Huddleston then recovered from an untidy start to reduce the Hinds to 35/3 at the end of the fifth over. Kelly struck a major blow in the third over with the wicket of Watkin, Huddleston then knocked over Emily Cunningham’s off-stump before Kelly returned for a third over to trap Anlo van Deventer in front.

While Natalie Dodd and Hannah Rowe (44) then rebuilt the Hinds innings, the HEARTS squeezed and snuck through some cheap overs. Though Peterson went wicketless, her four overs went for just 16 runs, while Jesse Prasad bowled four straight to drive the required run-rate up.

Prasad (1-25) settled in on a fantastic line and length and the wicket of Dodd, stumped by Sarah Carnachan for a run-a-ball 28, was just reward for an impressive spell. 

The Hinds never gave up. Five boundaries came from the final 12 balls, but so did three wickets as Kelly (4-28) finished the 19th over with back-to-back wickets, bettering her career-best figures for a second-straight match. In the final over, Georgia Atkinson twice flicked Huddleston over fine-leg before the HEARTS spearhead honed in on the stumps to seal an eight-run win. 

ACES vs. Stags | Stags won by 70 runs.

Bowling first, Will Somerville and Ben Lister gave the ACES the perfect start with a wicket apiece inside the first four overs. For the majority of the powerplay, the ACES were on top until George Worker powered the final three balls of the sixth over for 16 runs.

When Somerville (2-21) returned to claim the wicket of Stags skipper Tom Bruce, the ACES had a chance to put on some pressure. Worker (79) was joined by Josh Clarkson and the pair took to the short Pukekura Park boundaries. 

While Somerville and Lister continued to apply the pressure, skipper Robbie O’Donnell couldn’t find enough from the remaining ACES bowlers. Lister cleaned up Keiran Noema-Barnett in the 17th over to finish with career-best figures of 3-21, but Clarkson remained. 

The tall right-hander peppered the square boundaries, hitting 78 off 31 balls, as the Stags went past 200 for the second time in two days, amassing 226/8. 

The chase hit a couple of speedbumps as Sean Solia and Graeme Beghin both hit early sixes before being dismissed in the opening three overs. Despite a Glenn Phillips (42) blitz, the ACES were unable to match the kind of recovery the Stags had mustered. 

Robert O’Donnell (39) threw caution to the wind in hope of getting the ACES back into the match but lost partners to the mounting scoreboard pressure. The lower order continued to swing the bat but again the total was too big, falling 70 runs short as the ACES were bowled out for 156 in the 19th over.

Both sides return home to take on Canterbury at Eden Park’s Outer Oval on January 3rd after three games on the road.