Club Day in the Super Smash proved a tense one at Eden Park Outer Oval with Katie Perkins celebrating her 200th appearance for the HEARTS with a match-winning performance.
HEARTS vs. Spirit | HEARTS won by six wickets
The HEARTS lifted themselves into second place on the back of an excellent all-round performance with the ball and in the field. It didn’t take long for Arlene Kelly and Holly Huddleston to put the HEARTS on top with three wickets in the first eight balls.
Kelly struck first when Kate Anderson chipped to Perkins at mid-wicket. Two balls later, Huddleston (3-14) had her first when Brooke Halliday also picked out Perkins. The HEARTS were celebrating again the very next ball when Jesse Prasad held onto a high catch at deep square leg.
Katie Gurrey (28) and Felicity Leydon-Davis (25) attempted to rebuild the Spirit inning and the HEARTS were able to squeeze through the middle overs, despite both players going quite hard at young spinner Fran Jonas. The match turned again in the 13th over when Prasad (3-19) struck thrice, nabbing both Gurrey and Leydon-Davis before finishing the over with a simple caught and bowled. In the action-packed over, Perkins picked up a third catch for the day.
Discipline at the death and some outstanding pieces of ground fielding through the 20 overs helped keep the Spirit to 97/9. In reply, the HEARTS ran into some early trouble of their own with off-spinner Nensi Patel (3-19) dismissing both Lauren Down and Bella Armstrong in the first over. Three overs later, Saachi Shahri followed and the HEARTS needed something special from Perkins and Huddleston.
The pair delivered with a patient fourth-wicket stand of 79. There weren’t many boundaries in the partnership and there didn’t need to be, but the pair ran well and eventually got on top. Needing run-a-ball for the last six overs, Perkins (52*) and Huddleston (25) put three big overs together of 12, 12 and 9 to ease all the tension and eventually claim a confident six-wicket win with 14 balls to spare.
ACES vs. Knights | Knights won by five wickets
The ACES came close once again, this time suffering defeat to a powerful Knights side by five wickets. Asked to bat first, Martin Guptill looked to be away before Colin de Grandhomme took a sharp catch at short-third man. At that very moment, showers came across the ground, reducing the match to 14 overs per side.
Glenn Phillips was in a hurry and more than made up for lost time, whacking 8 sixes on his way to a belligerent 68 off 33 balls. The dashing right-hander was in full flow when the third umpire adjudged him to have feathered one through to Tim Seifert behind the stumps. The crowd were stunned as Phillips epic blitz came to a controversial end.
The fielding highlight of the match came as Trent Boult and Tim Southee combined to claim the tip-toeing boundary catch of Sean Solia before skipper Robert O’Donnell and Kyle Jamieson provided some big hits towards the end as the ACES posted 140/6 from their 14 overs.
DLS adjusted the Knights target to 140 and that would soon change again when the players went off as another shower passed through. The new target when the players returned was 107 off 10 overs as Jamieson went past Jeet Raval’s outside edge to complete the first over.
Regular wickets kept the ACES in the hunt. Ross ter Braak got the ACES started when Seifert flat-batted a low chance to Jamieson at mid-off. The game would be won and lost on limited boundaries and the Knights continued to find a way, despite Will Somerville’s triple-strike to dismiss Raval, Anton Devcich and de Grandhomme, who hit two sixes during his three-ball inning. Still needing 36 off the final 18 balls, Mitchell Santner (39*) was the hero playing the finishing role perfectly as the Knights won by five wickets off the penultimate ball of the match.
Next up for the ACES and HEARTS is a visit by the Stags and Hinds on Saturday.