Otago Sparks captain Suzie Bates carried her bat en route to a supreme unbeaten 125 in the first of two One-Day matches against the Central Hinds at Molyneux Park.
Despite losing a couple of partners in the 90s as the Sparks looked to tick off the last three dozen or so runs for victory, Bates was cool, calm and collected as she picked off a single to move to 99, then took her ninth boundary of the day, off Kate Broadmore, to bring up three figures in 108 balls.
Chasing 203/8, the Sparks had been cruising at 156/1 until Broadmore had run out Leigh Kasperek just three runs shy of a half century. But a late flurry of four wickets was just not enough to stop the Sparks from sweeping to a five-wicket win, with Bates in charge throughout.
Young allrounder Jess Watkin (3-42) had earlier starred with the bat with 61 after the Hinds had elected to bat; supplemented by Kelly Rangi's 40 and 33 from Melissa Hansen, while WHITE FERN Kasperek did the lion's share of damage with the ball for a haul of 3-27.
Bates and Kasperek put on 139 for the second wicket in reply, the match won in 48.1 overs.
Kasperek was run out for 47 and then Watkin took three quick wickets to give Otago the wobbles as they were reduced to 188-5.
But Bates hung tough to score 125 not out and guide Otago to 206-5 in 48.1 overs.
The teams face each other again at same venue in round six tomorrow (Monday 4 January).
The match was the only result from round five, with the other matches between Wellington Blaze and the Auckland Hearts at the Basin Reserve and between Northern Spirit and the Canterbury Magicians in Rangiora washed out.