Lauren Down shines as Hearts set records

The Auckland Hearts have continued their winning ways in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, racking up two victories against the Northern Spirit over the weekend at Colin Maiden Park.

Plenty of records were set in the second match on Sunday. Arlene Kelly played her 50th List-A game, the Hearts set a new second-wicket partnership record, and Katie Perkins crossed the 2000-run mark in her List-A career.

Sunday’s game was unaffected by the rain that plagued Saturday’s match, and the Hearts sent the Spirit in to bat first.

The Hearts put immediate pressure on the Spirit, with the first ten overs going for only 22 runs. ND managed to hold their nerve, particularly Katie Gurrey – playing at her home ground.

The Spirit put their foot down, and Gurrey started to hit boundaries. Along with Bernadine Bezuidenhout, the Spirit made 100, and shortly afterwards Gurrey herself reached her maiden List-A century shortly afterwards.

After 40 overs, the Spirit were only one wicket down. Then Bella Armstrong struck. In one over Armstrong dismissed both set batsmen Gurrey and Bezuidenhout for 102 and 47, respectively. Then in her next over, Armstrong took another two wickets – Felicity Leydon-Davis and Brooke Halliday.

Holly Huddleston then got into the act, finishing her 10 overs with figures of 1-25. The Spirit finished their 50 overs with 220 runs on the board.

The Hearts opening batsman Lauren Down has already been extremely impressive in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield. Against the Magicians she scored 96 and 56, and the day before Down scored 49.

After Saachi Shahri was dismissed early, Down was joined by recently returned captain Maddy Green. The pair put together a swift partnership, and the Spirit threw everything at trying to break them up. Altogether, Northern Districts used eight bowlers in just over 40 overs.

Green was dismissed on 44, putting the Hearts on 169/2 in the 31st over. Perkins came in with Down on 93, the Hearts had 52 runs to get and 20 overs to get them.

Lauren Down reached her maiden century in 112 balls, including seven 4s. Eight runs later, she was caught by the game’s other century-maker.

Perkins was joined by Regina Lilii, and the pair took the Hearts over the line in 40.1 overs.

The Hearts have won all four matches, but so have the Central Hinds, and the rain the day before limited the Hearts’ ability to pick up the bonus point.

The Hearts now sit second on the table and will next head down to the University Oval to play the Otago Sparks on 8 and 9 December.

Round three scorecard here

Round four scorecard here

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