Saachi Shahri and Lauren Down played key roles for their side | PHOTOSPORT

Auckland Hearts bounce back, make Final



Auckland Hearts beat Canterbury Magicians by 10 runs

Eden Park Outer Oval, Auckland

14 March 2021


A thriller saw defending champions the Auckland Hearts book their place in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield final for yet another year.

The Hinds were no certainty of getting across the line, needing to win to get back above the Central Hinds on the points table (the Hinds concurrently winning in New Plymouth) and with Amy Sattertwaite still at the crease for the Canterbury Magicians as the run chase boiled down to a decisive last-over thriller.

The Magicians themselves were now already assured of a spot thanks to the Hinds preventing the Spirit from getting a win and bonus point in New Plymouth (follow all that? Good!), but would have like to have headed into the Final on a winning roll all the same - with this same ground, Eden Park Outer Oval to be the Grand Final venue due to the non-availability of the three grounds in Canterbury.

The Hearts meanwhile bounced back from Saturday’s disappointmentby fighting to the death on Sunday.

Batting first after winning the toss, a strong first-wicket stand from Saachi Shahri (60) and captain Lauren Down (75) got the Aucklanders off to a positive start as the pair put on 117 for the first wicket.

It was another gritty knock from Down (above), but as in Saturday’s game, the batting side lost their way after the platform had been built.

From 185/2, the Hearts lost 8-31 after the 41st over  to be all out for 216 in the 50th. Remarkably, Canterbury captain Frankie Mackay had entered her second spell without a wicket in the innings, yet finished with a bag of 5-40 from her nine overs - including the spinner's 150th List A wicket, and a new New Zealand record for the most bags by any New Zealander at this level.

The Hearts knew they were in for a fight with the ball on a good batting strip with Holly Huddleston and Arlene Kelly unable to break the opening partnership.

It was a tidy front 10, nevertheless, in what would prove a battle of attrition. Spinner Fran Jonas would eventually get her side on the board when Kate Ebrahim picked out Kelly at mid-off in the 12th over on 16.

Amy Satterthwaite joined Mackay (42) and the long-serving Magicians pair batted on towards the halfway mark in the innings.

Kelly (2-26) was then in the action again with a crucial double strike, first finding Mackay’s outside edge before new batsman Natalie Cox sliced her drive to backward point.

Another threatening partnership developed between Satterthwaite and Emma Kench, however, before spin twins Jonas and Anna Peterson built the pressure and the run rate crept up above a run a ball with 15 overs to go.

With the squeeze on, Jesse Prasad took the first of her career-best 3-47 - dismissing Kench for 17, before Huddleston went through Kirsty Nation. The Magicians now needed a steep 50 off the final three overs.

Satterthwaite took 19 from the 48th over, however, bowled by Prasad.The WHITE FERNS left-hander then helped smash another 10 off the 49th. The Magicians weren't about to give in, but Prasad closed out the match brilliantly, picking up the wickets of both Laura Hughes (23) and crucially Satterthwaite (96) in a clutch victory to qualify for yet another national one-day Final.






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