A maiden five-wicket bag for 23-year-old Maddy Green (5-45) was just the beginning for the Auckland Hearts as they swept to their second win in two days over the Central Hinds to affirm their position at the top of the One-Day table.
Green had put herself on a hat-trick as she took a late flurry of wickets to have the Hinds 212/8. Her hat-trick was averted but, more importantly, her double breakthrough had slowed the Hinds’ momentum just when they could have looked to capitalise at the death.
Green and Anna Peterson later saw it through with the bat as the Hearts collected a six-wicket victory, having been chasing the Hinds’ 228.
Heart Holly Huddleston had made the opening breakthrough with Michelle Mitchell’s wicket in the third over. Fellow Hinds opener Melissa Hansen would go on to graft an important 62 for her side, but continued to lose partners until Wairarapa allrounder Anlo van Deventer came in at five to begin work on the top score of the innings: an 83-ball 77.
At this stage, Green was still yet to take a wicket — but all that changed when she removed Michelle Bunkall cheaply in the 42nd over.
Lauren Down chimed in to have the dangerous Hannah Rowe stumped for just five, then Green snaffled a caught and bowled to stop van Deventer in the first of her two consecutive strikes in the 45th over, before wrapping up the Hinds’ innings in the last over with one delivery to spare.
In reply, Hearts Sam Curtis and Katie Perkins controlled the chase well through the middle, the team having been sweetly positioned at 121/1 in the 22nd over after a fairly aggressive start.
As the only undefeated side, three bonus point victories have helped the Hearts open up an eight-point advantage over the Canterbury Magicians — despite the Magicians also taking back-to-back victories against their opponents, Wellington Blaze, over the past two days in Lincoln.
Round five is on 3 January 2016, with matches at Molyneux Park, Alexandra (Sparks v Hinds); Hagley Oval, Christchurch (Magicians v Spirit); and the Basin Reserve, Wellington (Blaze v Hearts).