Defending national one-day champions the Auckland Hearts have become the first team to qualify for the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield Final after a five-wicket victory over the Central Hinds in Auckland this afternoon.
Victory in the first of two top-of-the-table clashes between the two teams this weekend swept the unbeaten Hearts to 34 points from seven rounds. With a maximum 15 points remaining on offer to each team from the last three rounds ahead of the Final, it was enough to ensure a berth for the ominous Aucklanders with three rounds to spare.
Sent in, Central Hinds opening batsman Natalie Dodd meanwhile lacked support as she scored a century in her 100th Hallyburton Johnstone Shield match - reaching 103 from 157 balls in the Central Hinds' tally of 205/8.
WHITE FERN Holly Huddleston (4-44, below, PHOTOSPORT) did the damage with the ball before fellow WHITE FERNS Anna Peterson (a run-a-ball 54 at the top), Hearts captain Maddy Green (37 off 46) and Katie Perkins - who will play her own 100th match tomorrow (62* off 74) ensured the hosts clinched victory with 11.3 overs to spare.
- 100th domestic List A match for Natalie Dodd (Central Hinds)
- Kerry Tomlinson was Roz McNeill's 50th List A wicket
- Natalie Dodd reached 3500 List A runs when on 42
- 8th List A century for Natalie Dodd (first for Central Hinds)
- Natalie Dodd's innings is the highest score for Central Hinds v Auckland Hearts (previously 92 by Aimee Watkin, née Mason at Palmerston North, 2007/08