Northern Districts beat Auckland Hearts by 5 wickets
Seddon Park, Hamilton
18 December 2021
Bay of Plenty teenager Nensi Patel produced a career-best 71* off 91 balls to inspire Northern Districts to their first win of the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield - downing the Auckland Hearts by five wickets in their rescheduled fixture at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
The 19-year-old allrounder has always been tagged as a future star and on Saturday she showed why as she guided her side home with three overs to spare in a stress-free run chase of 226, after earlier claiming 3-40 with the ball.
Patel’s List A best with the bat finished off a polished batting effort by the hosts, led by Kate Anderson’s quickfire 50 off 42 at the top with cameos from captain Brooke Halliday (24) and Makayla Templeton (29*).
The win was somewhat of a revenge for ND after their Friday afternoon Dream11 Super Smash defeat to their Auckland rivals on the same ground, just the day before.
The Hearts will feel like they should have posted more after winning the toss and seeing all three of their experienced internationals post half-centuries.
Captain Lauren Down cruised to her 15th List A 50 before falling victim to Patel on 67 and Katie Perkins was the off-spinner’s third wicket with the scoreboard looking healthy at 160-3 in the 35th over.
Northern continued to chip wickets away stifling the Hearts momentum as Holly Huddleston was forced to bat with the tail and nurse the score through to 225-9 from the 50, only able to add 42 runs from the final 10 overs with the loss of five wickets.
That total always looked slightly under par on a good wicket in Hamilton and Northern’s free-scoring batters proved it so as they got their HBJ points tally underway after a couple of early losses and two rain-outs.
The HBJ catch-ups are now done with the second half of the competition set to resume in January, with unbeaten Wellington Blaze and the in-form Otago Sparks out in front at the midway point.