01 Jul, Friday

Huddleston, Kelly sneak HEARTS home


Huddleston, Kelly sneak HEARTS home

Praneel HiraHearts

Another dynamic Katie Perkins knock lead the way before Arlene Kelly and Holly Huddleston came up trumps at the death to snatch a 7-run win over the Otago Sparks in Lincoln.

A red-hot Suzie Bates appeared to have taken the game away from the HEARTS. The WHITE FERNS opener hit 76 off 64 balls, but Kelly was on the money in a tidy 19th over.

Bates’ knock wasn’t always fluent, however, having been tied down early on. The HEARTS opening duo, Kelly and Huddleston started precisely conceding just ten from the first four overs. Kelly got the ball rolling, bowling Millie Cowan on the second delivery of the inning. Skipper Anna Peterson then pried the wicket of Katie Martin, caught looking for a boundary on the legside.

The HEARTS were miserly up front as Bates soaked up the pressure. From 14/2 after seven overs, Bates displayed all of her power and finesse. With Hayley Jensen in support, the Sparks weren’t done just yet.

46 off 30 balls was reduced to 22 off 18 as Bates (76) and Martin (35*) went brought up their century-partnership for the third wicket.

Huddleston and Kelly returned with three overs to go and turned the match around. Huddleston bowled a tight 18th before Kelly (3-28) struck the major blow of Bates, caught trying to force a drive through the covers. Three balls later, the right-arm seamers struck again.

Huddleston (2-12) had 11 runs to defend in the final over. The WHITE FERNS speedster only needed 3, taking two wickets to seal a second HEARTS victory to start the Dream11 Super Smash.

Earlier, the HEARTS fought through a tricky start with only three boundaries coming from the first six overs. Lauren Down and Katie Perkins took the score to 30 in the powerplay, rebuilding after the early loss of skipper Anna Peterson.

Perkins used her feet, advancing down the wicket to pull Bhagya Herath for four at the end of 7th over. Down (35) followed it with a pair of her own, first pulling Eden Carson before lofting the off-spinner over mid-off. It was the momentum the HEARTS needed to push on.

Carson hit back in the 14th over with the wickets of Down and Holly Huddleston both caught on the leg-side boundary. The HEARTS slipped further when Herath’s flighted delivery enticed Bella Armstrong into an aggressive drive.

With three overs to go, Perkins (69*) had brought up a second successive fifty; this time from 39 balls. It was another excellent knock from the in-form veteran. The big finish didn’t fully eventuate, but the HEARTS were still able to post 140/6.


Image Credit: photosport.nz