13 Aug, Saturday

HEARTS secure home Eliminator; Firebirds and ACES entertain


HEARTS secure home Eliminator; Firebirds and ACES entertain

Praneel HiraFeatured

Team Auckland’s Dream11 Super Smash round robin finished with a 1-1 split with the Firebirds and Blaze at the Outer Oval today.

ACES vs. Firebirds | Firebirds won by 39 runs. 

An unstoppable Firebirds top-order flew out of the blocks and never looked back. Finn Allen was the first to hit go and hit go he did racing out to fifty inside the powerplay.

With the Firebirds 80/0 at the end of the powerplay, there wasn’t much room for error for the ACES. Devon Conway took his time, but when Allen fell for 73 off 35 balls, the left-hander took over.

While Sean Solia (1-23) helped peg the Firebirds back for some time, Tom Blundell accessed all parts of the ground to build his own 46 off 23 balls. Conway remained there at the end, finishing unbeaten on 91 as Wellington posted their highest T20 total of 230/2.

In reply, the ACES made a solid start, however needing 11.5 an over from the start, the rate continued to go up. Playing with freedom, seven of the ACES batsmen cleared the rope throughout their innings. Though the big knock never came, Will O’Donnell (38) threatened to keep the ACES in it.

With mounting scoreboard pressure on their side, the Firebirds kept striking through Jimmy Neesham, Hamish Bennett, Logan van Beek and Peter Younghusband.

An entertaining partnership between Will Somerville (26) and Kyle Jamieson kept the crowd interested, but the ACES eventually fell 39 runs short to end their Super Smash campaign.

HEARTS vs. Blaze | HEARTS won by seven runs

The HEARTS have secured a home Elimination Final with a thrilling seven-run win over the Blaze.

Batting first, the HEARTS were again in early trouble losing Lauren Down, Anna Peterson and Bella Armstrong inside the first 3.1 overs.

Katie Perkins (29) and Holly Huddleston (16) steadied the inning before Melie Kerr (2-20) bowled both set players. Regina Lilii (17) and Jesse Prasad (18) kept the HEARTS moving battling through some tight Blaze bowling.

Sophie Devine (4-21) returned late to get through the tail as the HEARTS were bowled out for 117 on the final ball of the inning.

Early wickets were a must and Down turned to Peterson early on. The HEARTS off-spinner struck almost immediately getting Devine and Kerr in back-to-back deliveries. While it gave the HEARTS an opening, the Blaze were still above the required run-rate, finishing the powerplay at 44/2.

Maddy Green was the key and the Blaze skipper was still at the crease when Jesse Prasad entered the attack in the 11th over. Prasad asked Green to drive and her skewed effort fell to Peterson at backward point.

The HEARTS grew in confidence and it didn’t take long to get on top. Prasad, Peterson and Jonas squeezed through the middle before Huddleston took two wickets in the 16th over to truly turn the match in the HEARTS favour.

The last Blaze pair threatened to pull off a heist reducing the equation to 12 off 12 before Peterson threw down the stumps to collect her second run-out of the day and secure the HEARTS a home Elimination Final on Thursday.

The Elimination Final opponents, the Blaze.