CENTRAL HINDS v WELLINGTON BLAZE
Fitzherbert Park, Manawatu
2 December 2018
Result: Central Hinds won by 7 wickets
The Central Hinds have opened up a clear lead at the top of the national one-day Hallyburton Johnstone Shield points table with their fourth crushing win on the bounce.
After having beaten Northern Spirit in nine-wicket and 10-wicket landslides a fortnight ago in New Plymouth, they took their winning form with them to their alternate home ground in Palmerston North where they defeated Wellington Blaze back to back in difficult conditions.
Brushing off the wet weather and stiff breeze to complete a perfect set of four bonus points to boot, the Hinds’ exciting start to their one-day campaign has been outrageous given they have yet to get lift-off in the Burger King Super Smash T20s.
With Hannah Rowe and Jess Watkin back from the West Indies, they had some added firepower this weekend to take on a Blaze side featuring Amelia Kerr and Liz Perry, but it was a solid team effort with both Rowe (10-2-18-3), spinner Watkin (7-1-18–3) and Monique Rees (7-2-19-3) grabbing three-fors after Anlo van Deventer won the toss and put the Blaze in.
Opener Lucy Doolan’s 33 was virtually a lone hand for the visitors as the Hinds scythed through Blaze’s order, bundling them out for 106 with so much time to spare that they got their own innings well underway before the lunch break.
A third of the runs were already on the board as they headed into the dining room, with Natalie Dodd yet again carrying her bat en route to hitting the winning runs mid-afternoon for a seven-wicket victory.
Dodd’s experience and stability at the top of the order is paying dividends for her new team as she and another experienced head in Kerry Tomlinson carefully built a 55-run stand for the third wicket.
While the required run rate never threatened, it remained important to keep wickets in hand in the conditions to avoid any imitation of the Blaze’s first innings fate.
Tomlinson (28) fell to Amelia Kerr at 91 for three, Dodd but new batsman Rowe didn’t panic, picking off the remaining 16 runs with Dodd over the next six overs and yet still cruising home with more than 16 overs in hand.
Dodd (above) was left unbeaten on 40* off 96 deliveries.