Otago Sparks lost to Northern Spirit by 9 wickets
University of Otago Oval, Dunedin, 30 November 2019
Ella Brown's first match as captain of the young Otago Sparks side turned out to be one of those days, as the hosts took a nine-wicket drubbing at the hands of a resurgent Northern Spirit.
Winning the toss was one of the few things that went right for Brown who would become one of two Sparks to depart scoreless in an innings in which only two players cracked double figures.
Hayley Jensen's unbeaten 64* stood out like a beacon after Spirit's Lily Mulivai knocked over the top order with the help of Caroline Esterhuizen, the Sparks quickly in trouble at 35 for four.
The Samoa Women international finished with a one-day career-best 2-8 while the Sparks, save for WHITE FERN Jensen, fell over like a row of dominoes to be all out for 120 in 41 overs - Jensen accounting for more than half the team's runs.
Spinner Eimear Richardson finished with 3-35 off her 10 with Esterhuizen and Lauren Heaps each also picked up a brace, as the Spirit batsmen strapped up early ready to chase down an unthreatening total.
Spirit's top order have been in cracking form, and Katie Gurrey continued her solid early start to the season with an unbeaten 80* off 67 balls.
The Sparks got a consolation top order wicket when Jensen removed Alisha Rout in the third over, but there was little more consolation for the hosts as Spirit chased down the runs with more than half the innings to spare for an early finish and a valuable bonus point.