The Auckland Hearts are out to make it six from six in their two Hallyburton Johnstone Shield matches this weekend against the Otago Sparks in Dunedin.
Hearts opening batsman Lauren Down, who scored her maiden List A century last Sunday against the Northern Spirit, says the team is looking forward to the trip to Dunedin.
“A lot of the girls haven’t played at the University Oval, and it’s a cool opportunity to play at a test venue.”
Down has had an exceptional start to the 2018/19 Hallyburton Johnstone Shield. In four matches she has racked up scores of 96, 56, 49, and 108. She says her rich vein of form has been helped by supportive teammates and coaching.
“I took a bit of a break over the winter away from cricket,” Down says.
“After that it was all about volume – spending a lot of time batting as I got closer to the season. We have some really fantastic coaches, who helped me focus on my work-ons.”
Down is quick to talk up her teammates and the culture in the Hearts squad.
“I’m really enjoying batting at the moment. The team offers so much support, I always feel like I’m trusted to do my job, and the other girls are backing me.”
The Hearts are second on the table, 10 points ahead of the third-placed Sparks, and Down says that the team aren’t taking the Southerners lightly.
“We’ve had some good battles with them in the past. They’ve got some really good players and if we let them, they can definitely take the game away from us.”
“We’re all going out each round to improve on the last game, to keep pushing the boundaries and playing good cricket.”
The Auckland Hearts play the Otago Sparks in two 50-over matches on 8 and 9 December at the University of Otago Oval. Saturday’s match begins at 10:30am and Sunday’s match begins at 10:00am.
Auckland Hearts squad to face Otago Sparks
Maddy Green (C)
Tariel Lamb (WK)