Round 10 of 10
WELLINGTON BLAZE beat the Auckland Hearts by six wickets
Colin Maiden Park, Auckland
3 March 2019
After having thrown away their chance in the previous day's penultimate round, Wellington Blaze completed their 2018/19 season with heads held high after bouncing back to hand the Auckland Hearts a six-wicket loss right when it mattered.
The Blaze became just the second team all summer to defeat the defending champions in the one-day format, and the result cost the Hearts the right to host the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield Grand Final with that honour now going to the Central Hinds in New Plymouth.
Having elected to bat first, the Hearts had made a mixed start. Holly Huddleston's promotion to open the batting didn't pan out, with the former WHITE FERN gone first ball for no score. However, her young opening partner Saachi Shahri would knuckle down for a career-best 89.
Shahri's problem was trying to find someone who would stick with her. All the other four of the Auckland top five were quickly sent back by the Blaze, the Hearts in unfamiliar territory at 18 for four in the seventh over.
Finally Jesse Prasad helped her form a partnership, the pair putting on 109 for the fifth wicket with Prasad also reaching her one-day career best, 52 off 97 deliveries. Her dismissal in the 36th over, however, let the Blaze attack back in, and another five wickets fell as the Hearts found themselves bowled out for 195 on the last ball of the allotted 50-over innings.
Jess Kerr's 4-38 was the standout haul for the Blaze, supported by two-fers for both Rebecca Burns and Deanna Doughty. Burns's good day out would continue with the tall, aggressive opener belting a half century (52 off 60 balls) in the reply and forming a 78-run opening stand with Lucy Doolan (33) that took the heat right off the visitors.
At her fall, captain Liz Perry took over and would eventually top-score for the winners with her unbeaten 58* off 66 balls. Blaze chased down their target in the 42nd over, with the Hearts however heading off to the Grand Final where they will be out to avenge themselves this Saturday.
- 50th List A match for Rebecca Burns (Wellington Blaze), Regian Lili'i (Auckland Hearts) and Roz McNeill (Auckland Hearts)
- Highest List A score by Jesse Prasad (previous best 17)
- Record 5th wicket partnership for Auckland Hearts v Wellington Blaze (109; previous best 88 by Sara McGlashan/Anna Peterson in Wellington 2014/15)
- Highest List A score by Saachi Shahri (previous best 68)
- Rebecca Burns reached 1000 List A runs when on 30