On a scorchingly hot afternoon in Manawatu, the Auckland Hearts continued their winning ways in the Sunday round of the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield.
After the Hinds had escaped with points from a weather-hit no result the day before, this time there was no mercy as the Hearts chased down 158 with almost 19 overs to spare for a big eight-wicket victory.
The young Hinds squad won’t be shaken by the result — their focus is transparently on rebuilding their squad for the future; but for the Hearts it was business as usual.
Captain Maddy Green sent the hosts in at Fitzherbert Park, Arlene Kelly (2-30) getting her side off to a good start by picking up an early wicket in Taranaki youngster Emily Cunningham.
Despite losing the big wicket of Jess Watkin early as well, the Hinds rebuilt, captain Anlo van Deventer (43) and experienced Kerry Tomlinson (44) getting them to 123 for three by the 30-over mark.
After Kelly and Roz McNeill accounted for the two set batsmen, young Bella Armstrong (3-15 off six) made an impact coming back into the attack, her spell restricting the runs at a crucial time in the innings to give the Hearts the upper hand.
The attack then upped the ante and the pressure showed, the Hinds ultimately losing their last seven wickets for just 34 runs, and dismissed inside 45 overs to set the Hearts their target of 158 for victory.
Hearts opener Lauren Down (66*) looked comfortable from ball one, rotating the strike with ease to keep the Hearts ahead of the game.
Despite losing a couple of wickets, the Aucklanders were never troubled in their chase, Green (35) playing a supporting role for Down and the pair putting on 93 for the second wicket to bring the Hearts within touching distance of the straightforward win and take them a big eight points clear on the points table.