The Auckland Hearts have one more challenge to overcome in their Hallyburton Johnstone Shield defence as they head to New Plymouth to face the Central Hinds on Saturday.
With WHITE FERNS back for both teams, the match is shaping up to be a tough encounter between two sides that were separated by the narrowest of margins at the end of the round-robin.
Hearts Head Coach Dean Flyger says that while the final round last weekend against the Wellington Blaze didn’t go quite the way they had hoped for; there were still plenty of things which went right for the side.
“One out of two, it’s certainly not a bad outcome. It was a weekend which produced some very good performances from our younger players.”
Flyger was enthused about the way Saachi Shahri and Jesse Prasad played in the second game.
“Jesse and Saachi both posted new high scores, and they built a big partnership when we needed it.”
He says the Hearts are ready for the challenge of playing a final away from home.
“We’re excited to be playing in the final. Pukekura Park is a great ground to play at and it’ll be a great battle there against the Hinds.”
Captain Maddy Green, returned from the WHITE FERNS tour in Australia, says she’s enjoying being back with the team.
“The Hearts are a great bunch, we have a lot of fun together – though we work hard together as well.”
Green knows that the Hearts will have to be on their game to beat the Hinds.
“CD have had a fantastic season so we’re going to have to play well to beat them.”
“Natalie Dodd has scored something like 600 runs this season, and they have players like Jess Watkin and Anlo van Deventer at the top of the order.”
Green is sanguine about playing the final in New Plymouth.
“Obviously it would have been nice to play in front of our home supporters, but we’re focused on preparing well and playing hard.”
“Hopefully we’ll be able to celebrate a win with them when we get back!”
The Auckland Hearts play the Central Hinds in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield final on Saturday 9 March. The match begins at 10:30am at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth. Entry is free.
Auckland Hearts Squad to play the Central Hinds:
Maddy Green (C)
Tariel Lamb (WK)