A clinical display with both bat and ball has seen the Wellington Blaze dominate the Women’s Twenty20 domestic final, beating the Otago Sparks by 10 wickets.
The match, which was televised live on SKY Sport, saw the Blaze restrict the Sparks to 97 in the first-innings thanks to a strong all-round bowling display. In response, the opening pair of Rachel Priest (37*) and Erin Burns (59*) put on an unbeaten 98 for the first wicket, leading their side to triumph after 15.2 overs.
Having earned home advantage during the round-robin, the Sparks went into the match as favourites and were further aided by winning the toss. They opted to bat, but from that point onwards it would be all the Blaze, with the visitors holding the momentum from start to finish.
The Sparks duo of Suzie Bates (34) and Katey Martin (22) posed the biggest threat with the bat, but despite putting on 38 for the second wicket, neither managed to get on top of the bowling attack.
The pressure soon told and the key scalp of Bates in the 14th over reduced the Sparks to 69-4, leaving the Blaze well and truly in charge, From there the spinners took over, with Amelia Kerr in particular capatilising on the strong position her team were in.
The 14-year-old finished with figures of 3-19 from her four overs and was instrumental in keeping the Sparks to under 100. Eimear Richardson was another stand-out with the ball, taking 3-16.
The Blaze response with the bat was equally as impressive, with Burns and Priest blasting their way to victory in style.
The pair gave away few chances throughout the innings, sending the ball in all directions. Burns in particular showed an array of elegant shots and was rewarded with her half-century off 44 balls.
Shortly after her milestone the match was wrapped up, sending Wellington into celebration. The Blaze last won the competition in 2013.
The attention now goes to the One Day final at Mainpower Oval in Rangiora, where the Canterbury Magicians will host the Auckland Hearts tomorrow at 10.30am.