The Otago Sparks’ all-star top order did the business as the southerners bounced day from a stingingly tight loss the day before in the Lincoln T20s.
Suzie Bates (58 off 48, above), Morna Nielsen (28 off 22), Katey Martin (25 off 15) and Leigh Kasperek (30 off 23) all contributed to fast work after having been sent in by Wellington Blaze captain Liz Perry, Blaze looking to hold on to the top rung of the ladder in this round.
It wasn’t to be, but Blaze could later take some consolation that their biggest rivals the Hearts were also beaten in this round, the two teams remaining on equal top points but the Hearts nudging ahead of Blaze on net run rate for the number one slot.
Bates was the destructor for the Sparks, batting into the 18th over with her side sitting pretty at 139 for two. Her dismissal triggered a flurry of five wickets at the death, but a tally of 158 for seven was on the board and certainly enough to put pressure on the Blaze batsmen.
The capital women got off to a far shakier start, scoreless Sophie Devine an early casualty when she was caught behind off Beth Langston’s opening over and fellow WHITE FERNS big hitter Rachel Priest also caught behind off young Kate Heffernan (below) for just two: six for two in just the second over.
Lucy Doolan and Perry attempted a rebuild but after Perry fell in the ninth over, hopes rested on WHITE FERN Amelia Kerr to pull off some magic against a crafty Sparks attack.
Wickets fell around her before Kerr herself was lost in the 18th over, the Sparks closing in for the kill with Kasperek spinning her way to a fine 4-19 off her four overs.