Round eight proved to be the moving round that finally broke the deadlock at the top of the table between Wellington Blaze and the Auckland Hearts, Blaze getting a four-point jump on their rivals as the big doubleheader day drew to a close in Lincoln.
With two final rounds to play this weekend, it puts Blaze in the box seat — but not yet with one hand on the title, needing to get past Northern Spirit and the resurgent Canterbury Magicians first.
Tight bowling from Lucy Doolan (3-9) and snappy work again at the stumps from keeper Rachel Priest was just what Blaze had needed after having been asked to field by Hearts captain Maddy Green as the two front-running teams went head to head in Lincoln on Friday.
Doolan helped ensure the capital women restricted the Hearts to just 102, Katie Perkins the only batsmen to get a score of note, smacking 45 off just 32 balls at five to try and push her team out of trouble at 35 for four — all the top order back in the shed.
With wickets continuing to drop at the other end, the Hearts needed every run they could scrap for bur 102 was never likely going to be enough to defend against the Blaze who chased down their target with 23 balls to spare for an emphatic seven-wicket win.