Auckland Hearts v Otago Sparks at Melville Park, Auckland on 25 November 2017
• List A debut for Sophie Oldershaw (Otago Sparks)
• New Zealand List A debut for Maia Bouchier (Auckland Hearts)
• Sarah Carnachan set an Auckland Hearts record with five catches in the innings — this is the ninth occasion in the history of the women's limited over competition that a wicketkeeper has made five or more dismissals in an innings, and equalled Rebecca Rolls’s Auckland record of five dismissals
• Maddy Green reached 1500 List A runs
As the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield went back on the line for the first time in decades, the Auckland Hearts continued straight where they left off with a strong start to the one-day season.
Their dominant (Saturday) victory over a visiting Otago Sparks unit that, on paper, should have put up a solid fight was just the start the Hearts had sought under new captain Maddy Green, who led the way in their successful chase with an unbeaten 61.
It was also a red-letter day for new wicketkeeper Sarah Carnachan who set an Auckland women’s record with five catches in the innings — only the ninth occasion in the long history of women’s limited overs competition that a keeper has made five or more dismissals in an innings, also equalling Rebecca Rolls’s Auckland Hearts record of five dismissals.
It had all started well enough for Sparks captain Suzie Bates when she won the toss and chose to bat in summery conditions at Melville Park, but from ball one the Hearts put the pressure on the Sparks, limiting their scoring opportunities.
The pressure led to an early runout from Saachi Shahri, Caitlin Blakely gone for no score; but when Arlene Kelly had Bates caught on just 23 it really ignited the Hearts bowlers.
Wickets fell at regular intervals, Holly Huddleston making a strong impact as usual with figures of 3-33 off her 9.4 overs, and Kelly and young Bella Armstrong picking up two each.
The Sparks limped to 121 all out off 40 overs having been further contained by a slick fielding performance, Anna Peterson getting two further runouts to cap off an excellent performance in the field from the Hearts.
The run chase got off to a rocky start, however, and with the Hearts at 53 for four, the Sparks still had a sniff.
Cue Green putting to bed any chance of their comeback with her measured unbeaten 61 from first drop, helping the Hearts reach their target in just the 36th over for a comfortable five-wicket win to continue their solid early season form.