The Central Hinds were up against it from the outset after losing the toss to Wellington Blaze captain Liz Perry and being sent in on Lincoln No.3 as the NZC Women’s Twenty20 tournament rounds got underway on Thursday afternoon.
Deanna Doughty opened the Blaze attack with two back-to-back wickets and just a single from her initial over and from there the Hinds careened to their lowest ever Twenty20 domestic score of 59 all out in 12.2 overs — the second time this season the young side had chalked up that ignominious record.
Young opener Jess Watkin (above) top-scored with an 11-ball 18 and was a big wicket in the context of the game, while Esther Lanser (13 off seven) did her best to pump quick runs down the order to at least get the tally past 50, getting off the mark immediately and finding the boundary next ball before eventually departing stumped off Amelia Kerr.
The Blaze bowlers clearly took home profitable figures with former WHITE FERN Lucy Doolan (above) netting 4-10 off just 2.2 overs (equalling her career best from the 2010/11 season) and Doughty finishing with 3-13 off four, while keeper Rachel Priest had an absolute field day with four stumpings and a catch, easily surpassing her own Blaze T20 keeping record of three dismissals in an innings and claiming the national record outright after going one better than the mark of four that she already jointly held from her earlier days playing for the Hinds.
The latter day Hinds had to fight fire with fire when it was their turn to bowl and they started promisingly, removing the top three of Doolan, and the stellar pair of Sophie Devine and Rachel Priest all for single figures thanks to the efforts of swing bowler Hannah Rowe and spinner Watkin.
When Amelia Kerr was stumped on 11, there was a further lift in the spirits but it was only ever going to take one player to get going to take the innings away. That player was the captain herself, Perry (30* off 26, above) pelting quick runs to put the Blaze 50 on the board with her fifth boundary, before helping knock off the chase with almost half the overs to spare, a wide from Rosemary Mair ending proceedings.
In other ROUND SIX results, the Auckland Hearts chased down a cracking total from the Otago Sparks and the Canterbury Magicians swept aside Northern Spirit with a nine-wicket win. The final tournament phase of the NZC Women's Twenty20 continues every day until Sunday with one game from every round live-streamed (free to watch) at https://www.nzc.nz/live-streaming