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Hearts ready for HBJ Shield clash

The Auckland Hearts welcome back the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield with two home matches at Melville Park against the Central Hinds on Saturday and Sunday.

The Hearts currently sit unbeaten at the top of the table. The Hinds are close behind with one loss from six matches. The top-of-the-table clashes could decide which team is safely through to the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield Final.

The Hearts narrowly missed out on making the Burger King Super Smash final, but their form in the longer game has been impressive picking up six wins and five bonus points.

Hearts coach Dean Flyger says that getting back into 50-over cricket after a full two months without it will pose its own challenge.

“It’s a change in mindset,” he says.

“The 50-over game provides more time to bat, bowl, and field. The team have been working hard since the end of the T20s.”

“We aim to play our one-day cricket in a similar way to T20 so hopefully it’s not too much of a change.”

Flyger says that the Hinds will be a strong opponent to face, but the Hearts are looking forward to the challenge.

“We’re just concentrating on what we can control, training and preparing well with the aim of this flowing into games.”

The Auckland Hearts play the Central Hinds at Melville Park, Epsom, on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 February. Saturday’s match starts at 10:30am, Sunday’s match at 10:00am.

Hearts batsman Katie Perkins will be collecting non-perishable food to stock her Pātaka Kai (community pantry) in Manurewa at both games. All donations are gratefully accepted.

Auckland Hearts squad to play the Central Hinds:

Maddy Green (C)
Bella Armstrong
Skye Bowden
Lauren Down
Holly Huddleston
Arlene Kelly
Tariel Lamb (WK)
Roz McNeill
Katie Perkins
Anna Peterson
Saachi Shahri

Image credit: Photosport.co.nz

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