A Sophie Devine epic proved too much for the Auckland HEARTS in a shortened Dream11 Super Smash Final at the Basin Reserve.
Showers delayed the start of the match, reducing the T20 showpiece to 7 overs per side.
When play began, after Anna Peterson won the toss and elected to bowl first, it was Devine who made up for lost time. The Blaze opener hit the ground running with a pair of fours from Holly Huddleston’s first over. Rachel Priest then joined the party as the Blaze’s first five scoring shots were boundaries.
It was a sign of things to come. After Bella Armstrong bowled an excellent third over, which included the wicket of Priest, Devine decided she was going to take on the field, hitting three sixes over Lauren Down’s head at long-on.
Two overs later, Devine had a 22-ball fifty and the Blaze were racing. Armstrong eventually nabbed the Blaze skipper for 54, but the damage had largely been done as the hosts posted 81/2.
There was little room for error if the HEARTS were to pull off something special. Openers Down and Peterson were kept quiet by Devine and leg-spinner Deanna Doughty.
With the required run-rate blowing out, the Blaze turned the screws. Wickets in the second, third and fourth overs effectively secured the HEARTS’ fate as the Blaze spinners shut the game down.