Central Hinds beat Auckland Hearts by 10 wickets (bonus point)
Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
22 November 2020
Fresh from a quick seven-wicket victory before lunch the day before, the Central Hinds did it again with a 10-wicket victory in the Sunday round sending the Hearts straight back to the drawing board.
Taking bonus points from both matches - and with ruthless Jess Watkin’s power hitting ensuring their net run rate zoomed up over seven, the Hinds marched straight to the top of the table after a near perfect start to their 2020/21 season.
For the injury-hit Hearts — missing a raft of regulars like Anna Peterson, Holly Huddleston, Arlene Kelly, Lauren Down and Katie Perkins, it was a chastening weekend at sunny Pukekura Park where they followed up a record low total of 49 with 86 all out in 35.3 overs, the one-day match again finishing before lunchtime.
Hinds captain Anlo van Deventer had won the toss once more and bowled, but this time did it with a new opening attack of Claudia Green and Melissa Hansen, WHITE FERN Hannah Rowe having been permitted by NZC to bowl on only one of the opening weekend’s matches to manage a knee niggle.
But with Green (2-19) again striking early, and bustling Monique Rees pocketing 3-15 for the second consecutive day, it was soon threatening to be an action replay for the embattled Aucklanders.
In a heap of trouble at 30/6 in the 19th, a fighting 45-run partnership between Skye Bowden (27) and Roz McNeill gave the visiting camp some encouragement.
But once spinner Georgia Atkinson (2-7) lured McNeill out of her crease on 18, Dodd swooped on a stumping and the tail unravelled swiftly over the next handful of overs.
Impressive Rees had swung the ball throughout the innings and proved a handful, even as the Hinds conceded 15 extras in their thirst for wickets.
The chase was a short affair thank to Jess Watkin belligerently smashing her unbeaten 68* off just 33 balls, sending the ball sailing over the rope for a fourth time to cement a 10-wicket birthday present for her opening partner Natalie Dodd, just before grey shadows appeared over the terraces and light rain began to spit down.
The Hinds now head to another of their home grounds, Levin’s Donnelly Park, where Wellington Blaze will visit in a fortnight’s time looking for their first win.
The hungry Hearts will stay on the road, heading to deep-south Invercargill on 5-6 December looking to get their campaign running against the Otago Sparks, a side also still searching for their first win of the summer.