Central Hinds beat Wellington Blaze by 44 runs
Karori Park, Wellington, 30 November 2019
A second bonus point victory in the space of three rounds saw defending Hallyburton Johnstone Shield champions the Central Hinds extend their lead at the top of the table.
The only unbeaten side after three rounds, the Hinds were sent in by Blaze captain Leigh Kasperek but a patient 73 from surgical opening batsman Natalie Dodd anchored the visitors to 217/9 in their 50 overs.
Dodd batted for 46 overs of the innings before she was stumped at the death, getting her side off to a strong start with Jess Watkin.
Watkin was the aggressor in their 65-run stand for the first wicket, slamming 35 off 26 balls, including a six and five boundaries, before Jess Kerr broke through in the 11th over.
Kasperek then picked up a quick wicket in opposing skipper Anlo van Deventer in the next over, and between them Kerr (4-37) and Kasperek (2-30) chipped away to have the Hinds 167 for seven.
However, in the interim Dodd and Hannah Rowe (35) had constructed a key fifth-wicket stand, putting on 75 together across 22.2 overs to frustrate the Blaze attack.
Mikaela Greig added a quick burst of runs at the death to set the hosts a chase of 218, in which Jess McFadyen looked to emulate Dodd's approach with a patient anchoring role at the top.
McFadyen batted into the 40th over for her 63 before she became the sixth wicket to fall, having just lost a couple of partners in quick succession.
Earlier, she had built promising partnerships with both Liz Green-Perry (17) and Thamsyn Newton (29, above) before Greig and Claudia Green, in her first appearance this summer, picked up their respective big wickets.
After the loss of the anchorwoman the run rate equation began to escalate on the Blaze until 47 were needed off the last 12. The Hinds finished it off with the ball with four deliveries to spare to ensure they stayed top of the table.
The two sides will meet in the fourth round at the same venue tomorrow (Sunday 1 December).