Northern Districts beat Auckland Hearts by 10 wickets - bonus point win
Seddon Park, Hamilton
Saturday 19 February 2022
Earlier this season Bay of Plenty teenager Nensi Patel grabbed her maiden five-wicket bag for ND.
Now the young spinning allrounder has gone and outdone herself with a six-fa, setting up a massive win for her side in the business end of the HBJ.
A big 10-wicket win over the out of contention Auckland Hearts in Hamilton moved ND into second spot on the table - behind the already qualified Wellington Blaze and ahead of the Otago Sparks, who have already completed their regular season rounds and must now hang on tomorrow's result between ND and the Hearts to find out whether they, or ND, will be off to Queenstown to play the Blaze at the big dance next weekend.
With all the teams in this season's lockdown delayed competition ranked by average points per game, an ND loss tomorrow would see the Sparks breathe a big sigh of relief and head to a home Grand Final, but ND holds its destiny in its own hands.
ND captain Eimear Richardson won the toss at Seddon Park and sent the becalmed Hearts into bat, Shriya Naidu quickly making an impact with a wicket third ball of the day, and two in the first five overs with both the Hearts openers back in the hutch.
Hearts veterans Arlene Kelly and captain Katie Perkins needed to steady the ship, but Naidu had a hand in prising them apart, too, when she took the catch off Lucy Boucher to make it 29/3 in the 12th.
Patel didn't enter the attack until the 29th over, by which time the Hearts has recovered to 122/3. She also made a near-immediate impact, striking with her third delivery - Bella Armstrong caught on 63.
Patel struck again with another crucial wicket, Perkins bowled on 42 a couple of overs later as ND began to seize control.
The 19-year-old added a wicket in each of her last four overs to quickly rattle up her first six-fa, ending the Hearts' account at 185 in the 45th over: new career-best figures of 8.1-1-25-6.
By contrast, the Hearts attack just couldn't break through at all, as former WHITE FERNS duo Caitlin Gurrey and Sam Barriball got in a mood.
Gurrey (94 not out) was the first to pass 50, bringing up her half ton off 81 balls.
Barriball (77 not out) followed suit soon after, off 80 deliveries, both en route to unbeaten efforts in an unbroken 188-run opening partnership - a new first-wicket record for Northern Districts who picked up their first bonus point in the process as they ticked off the chase in just the 35th over.
Wellington Blaze (10 rounds) 32 points
Northern Districts (9 rounds) 23 points
Otago Sparks (10 rounds) 25 points
Central Hinds (10 rounds) 22 points
Auckland Hearts (9 rounds) 11 points
Canterbury Magicians (10 rounds) 12 points