Sunday 20 Feb | HEARTS vs. Northern Districts | Match tied
The HEARTS summer ended with a dramatic last-ball finish at Seddon Park.
Batting first, the HEARTS were given a strong start by Saachi Shahri (34) and debutant Prue Catton (46), who together put on 78 for the first wicket. The pair fell at a similar time; Arlene Kelly and Katie Perkins then played themselves in around the halfway stage in the inning.
Rain then had a major role to play with the HEARTS at 104/2 at the end of the 28th over. When the players returned three hours later, the match had been reduced to 34 overs, leaving the HEARTS six overs to lift their total.
Kelly finished on 41 off 46, while Bella Armstrong hit a breezy 20 off 12 balls, lifting the HEARTS to 167/4. The calculators would come out and DLS adjusted NDs target to 213 off 34 overs.
The hosts roared out of the blocks with the returning Kate Anderson (74) largely responsible for her side’s early scoring.
The HEARTS chipped away through the middle and a pair of run-outs turned the game in the HEARTS favour. ND knew they needed to win and the incoming players had not given up hope.
A late concussion replacement thrust Carol Agafili into the spotlight. Fresh off the bench, Agafili hit her first ball for six to leave ND needing 10 runs off the final over.
Having taken seven runs from the first four balls, the hosts were on the brink of their second HBJ Final in three years. Amie Hucker (2-38) then conceded just the two singles, leaving the sides to end their season on a tie.
Saturday 19 Feb | HEARTS vs. Northern Districts | Northern Districts won by ten wickets
A century-stand between Katie Perkins and Bella Armstrong was the highlight from a tough day for the HEARTS in Hamilton.
Batting first, Perkins (42) and Armstrong combined nicely to see the HEARTS fight back from 29/3 to be in a solid position at 130/3. It was Armstrong’s second List-A half-century and a career-best of 63 off 62 balls.
The dismissal of the set players sparked a collapse and the HEARTS were bowled out for 185 in the 45th over. ND off-spinner Nensi Patel bowled a memorable spell, picking up 6-25 from her 8.1 overs, her second five-wicket haul of the summer.
It didn’t get any easier for the HEARTS with the ball as the host’s openers found the conditions to their liking. Caitlyn Gurrey (94*) and Sam Barriball (77*) went on to establish a new first-wicket record for ND, passing the HEARTS total without the loss of a wicket.