26 Jun, Sunday

HEARTS do double over Magicians


HEARTS do double over Magicians

Praneel HiraHearts

The HEARTS have overcome Frankie Mackay’s 10th List A century to register a gritty three-wicket win over the Canterbury Magicians today and go two-from-two for the weekend.

Chasing the Magicians 220/7, the HEARTS lost Saachi Shahri and Natasha van Tilburg in the first ten overs. Lauren Down and Katie Perkins took it upon themselves to set a platform.

Down did the majority of the early scoring, driving elegantly into gaps and picking up on anything short, while Perkins played herself in. It was tight, tense cricket as both sides played the waiting game.

Just when the HEARTS looked comfortable, Down (49) was the victim of an unfortunate run-out as communication broke down between the pair.

The four-five combination of Perkins and her skipper Anna Peterson have provided the middle-order mettle so far this summer and it did so again. The pair added 74 from 86 as the HEARTS took control of the chase.

There would be some late drama, however, when Peterson picked out Gabby Sullivan at mid-on. The HEARTS still needed 64 and the wicket was proving difficult to start on. Regina Lilii punched a boundary backward of point before Sullivan snuck one through her defences.

Perkins was the next to go on 44 and the match was again in the balance. The required run-rate was comfortable, but the HEARTS were six down. It was left to allrounders Holly Huddleston and Arlene Kelly to see the HEARTS home. The pair put on 39 off 37 deliveries, benefitting from a string of wides by the Magicians’ bowlers.

Kelly was caught behind with three runs to get, allowing Bella Armstrong to come to the crease and fittingly hit the winning runs, having starred with the ball throughout the weekend.

Earlier, the Magicians made another fast start with Kirsty Nation and skipper Mackay hitting three boundaries from the first nine deliveries. HEARTS debutant Fran Jonas was given an early opportunity to ease her nerves, hauling in a pair of firm drives just inside the cover boundary.

To end Armstrong’s first over, Peterson splendidly dove forward at cover snaffling Nation’s uppish drive. It was enough to slow the Magicians as the HEARTS’ opening bowlers found their range.

Before Armstrong’s tidy opening spell came to an end, the right-arm seamer had a loud leg-before shout denied. The HEARTS wouldn’t have to wait long for a second wicket; in the same over, Jacinta Savage’s skewed punch ended in the hands of Down at backward point.

It was all the Magicians through the second hour of play. Natalie Cox (57) and Mackay put together 114 for the third wicket. The stand was eventually broken in the 39th over when Peterson slid a full delivery into the pads of Cox. It was a big wicket with 11 overs to go as the HEARTS attempted to keep the Magicians under 200.

Peterson kept Jonas on from the Southern end and it paid off. The left-arm spinner bowled immaculately and her reward came in her eighth and final over; Laura Hughes’ outside edge looped to a waiting Down at backward point and the HEARTS ran to celebrate with their newest player.

Perkins lead the way in the field and was duly rewarded when she combined with Jonas and wicketkeeper Tariel Lamb to capitalise on a mix-up between Mackay and Allie Mace-Cochrane.

The end of the innings was nearing when Mackay twice accessed the fine-leg fence with improvised scoops off Huddleston.

It would be two wickets at the top and two at the death for Armstrong, who bowled both Ella Chandler and Sullivan during the Magician’s late search for runs. Figures of 4-36 represented another excellent spell by the 20-year old.

Mackay tucked three away behind square at the end of the 49th over to bring up her century before becoming the 12th player to bat through a full 50 overs in the Hallyburton Johnstone Trophy.

The HEARTS go again next weekend at Melville Park when the Otago Sparks come to town.