Emily Cunningham | PHOTOSPORT

Runs flow as Hinds bounce back



Central Hinds beat Northern Districts by 87 runs

Donnelly Park, Levin

20 November 2021


Looking for their first win of the season against a fresh-look Northern Districts, the Central Hinds posted their fourth highest one-day total - with two players contributing important maiden half centuries at their Levin home ground.

Had the match gone to script, captain Natalie Dodd would have done the job up top in her first match as Central Hinds captain.

Her opposite number, Kate Anderson - herself captaining ND for the first time in this match - sent the Hinds in on a weekend that had originally been scheduled for Hamilton's Seddon Park.

But after Dodd fell for no score on just the second ball of the match, and powerhouse Jess Watkin departed not long after for just 23 - a second big wicket for Kayley Knight (3-48); the Hinds needed fellow opener Emily Cunningham to step up.

And step up she did - Cunningham blasting her maiden Hallyburton Johnstone Shield and List A half century off just 49 balls, including eight boundaries and a six.

Her 39-run stand with Watkin for the second wicket cut short, Cunningham went on to dominate a 68-run third-wicket stand with young Cate Pedersen as the Hinds surged towards a potent total.

It had been a good start by ND until the sixth over when Cunningham charged at Nensi Patel for her six, and from there the momentum gathered until Charlotte Sarsfield made a much-needed double strike in the 24th, trapping Pedersen after her patient 25 before Kerry Tomlinson was caught first ball off her very next delivery.

That brought the experience of Mikaela Greig to the middle and it would be another maiden wave of the bat for the Hinds as Greig took charge of the back half of the innings, finishing with a 78-ball 65 when she was run out in the last over, after a six and five boundaries.

Typically aggressive, Anderson would be key to ND's chances of chasing down the Hinds' impressive 275/9, and she made a strong start.

Anderson belted Hannah Rowe's second over for three consecutive boundaries, but was the first to depart when spinner Watkin entered the attack in eight over.

Watkin had her rival caught for a 21-ball 26 off just her second delivery, then picked up new batter Nensi Patel two balls later: 49/0 suddenly became 49/2.

The allrounder would go on to a near career-best with 4-28, including four maidens, off her set of 10 overs, but was denied a bag by a stoic last pair.

ND had folded, Anderson's 26 at the top proving to be their top score - excluding extras, which came in ahead on 35 - with only debutante Naomi Matthews getting close by that stage, on 23 when she was bowled by legspinner Georgia Atkinson.

All but one of the wickets had fallen to the Hinds' trio of spinners, Atkinson and Ashtuti Kumar each picking up a brace.

Yet Sarsfield and Knight put on a stubborn effort for more than an hour to try to defend the last wicket - although more than 100 runs were required, at a steep clip.

From 144/9 in the 30th over, they saw off Watkin, then annoyed their hosts with an ND record-equalling 44-run stand for the 10th wicket.

Finally Melissa Hansen broke through in the 48th over to put a stop to the tailend antics and cement a bonus point victory for the home side - the Hinds' first win of the summer after two losses and two washouts.

ND number nine Charlotte Sarsfield (previous best: 20) had reached a new career best of 25 not out and Kayley Knight (previous best: 2 not out) hit 17 as they equalled the ND partnership mark, set by Holly Huddleston and Melissa Taylor in early 2008.

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