Jess Watkin smashed her T20 career best. Images: PHOTOSPORT

Jess Watkin stars with bat and ball



Rising star Jess Watkin’s second Twenty20 century was the highlight of the Hinds’ 141 for five as the Central women strove to bounce back from a hard loss against the Blaze the previous day in Lincoln.

Sent in by Northern Spirit captain Nat Dodd, Watkin raised the half ton with her naturally aggressive style, but it was fellow youngster Emily Cunningham who initially dominated their 22-run opening stand before Cunningham was caught in the third over.

Watkin would lose another partner quickly before combining with captain Anlo van Deventer (44 off 37, above) in a cracking 71-run stand for the third wicket, Watkin reaching her fifty off just 43 balls and going on to slam six fours and two sixes in all, ultimately falling to a Kate Anderson return catch when the score reached Nelson’s.

Thanks largely to Dodd’s 48, the reply was evenly poised at the halfway mark, Spirit needing a further 63 in their chase from the second half. Game on. But the Hinds had already sent her back to the sidelines (below), and were relentless as they scythed through the remaining order.

Spirit found themselves needing 10 an over off the last two overs, still a chance but under pressure. Instead four wickets in the space of seven balls saw them bowled out for 120 as Watkin capped a solid day with a T20 career best 4-22, Hannah Rowe finishing off the job with both a wicket and a runout for a thrilling 21-run victory.

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