26 May, Thursday

Playoff hopes dented for Team Auckland

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Playoff hopes dented for Team Auckland

Praneel HiraFeatured

HEARTS vs. Blaze | Blaze won by five wickets

The HEARTS Elimination Final equation got a little more complicated after a sound defeated to the Blaze.

Batting first, the HEARTS ran into familiar trouble, losing wickets regularly at the top. Then came the spin of Leigh Kasperek and Melie Kerr to make things tougher through the middle. Saachi Shahri (34) fought through to the 19th over, but the return of Jess Kerr (2-11) and Sophie Devine (3-24) would see the HEARTS all out for 89.

Unlikely to be enough, the HEARTS traded blows through the powerplay picking up four wickets, including the wicket of Devine (36). In the end, Blaze skipper Maddy Green (39*) shouldered the responsibility of seeing her side home and to a 9-0 regular season record.

ACES vs. Firebirds | Firebirds won by eight wickets. 

The ACES will require some help from the calculator to squeeze into Final contention after defeat to the Firebirds.

Having won the toss and deciding to bat first, the ACES were unable to break the shackles and put pressure on the Firebirds’ attack. Three down by the end of the powerplay, Glenn Phillips (39) and Ben Horne (27) attempted a rescue job. At 98/4 with four overs to go and on the back of an over of 15 runs, there was still hope of posting a challenging total on a slowing wicket.

Hamish Bennett (3-15) then returned to the attack and the ACES finished with 121/9 from their 20 overs.

Dismissing Devon Conway and Finn Allen cheaply would be a must and the ACES did just that, only for Michael Bracewell (54*) and Tom Blundell (41*) to guide the Firebirds into the all-important third spot on the table.

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