The HEARTS and ACES have split Team Auckland’s double-header with the Sparks and Volts in Alexandra.
HEARTS vs. Sparks | HEARTS won by 37 runs
Batting first, Anna Peterson and Lauren Down saw the HEARTS through the powerplay. Though Peterson hit four boundaries from the first two overs, the HEARTS managed a run-a-ball start when Down was caught in the 7th over.
Katie Perkins joined Peterson and the pair added 74 for the second-wicket. It was to be a match-defining partnership as the pair went through the gears after seeing the side at 56/1 after ten overs. Peterson changed the outlook of the match as the HEARTS hit 40 runs in the next three overs. Just as the pair readied for the final onslaught, the Sparks hit back.
Peterson was the first to go, stumped for a career-best 68 off 50 balls in an innings that included 9 fours and a six. Perkins followed at the end of the 16th over for 25 and the HEARTS were in danger of wasting a solid position.
Saachi Shahri (19*) and Bella Armstrong (15*) then gave the inning the finish it deserved by putting on an unbeaten 36 from the final four overs to lift the HEARTS to 156/3.
The HEARTS will have been pleased with their batting efforts but weren’t about to rest on their laurels. Arlene Kelly (3-26) and Holly Huddleston (2-17) both took wickets in their first overs. Kelly bowled Milly Cowan in the first over before Huddleston did the same to the Sparks skipper, Katie Martin. Down kept Huddleston on for a third over in the powerplay and it paid off with the wicket of a dangerous Hayley Jensen – Huddleston’s 150th wicket for the HEARTS.
From there, Polly Inglis (62) did her best to keep the Sparks in the contest. The HEARTS kept the squeeze on and took wickets at the other end with Jesse Prasad taking two, while Fran Jonas and Armstrong claimed one apiece. Kelly came back at the death and was rewarded with a couple of late wickets to seal a HEARTS victory by 37 runs.
ACES vs. Volts | Volts won by 45 runs.
It was all the Volts early on as the hosts raced out to 74/2 by the end of the powerplay. Though Ollie Pringle and Will Somerville took wickets early on, it wasn’t before Hamish Rutherford (25) and Neil Broom (30) had blazed away.
With such experience back in the pavilion, the ACES will have hoped to put some pressure on outside of the powerplay. Glenn Phillips (2-22) did just that in the face of another excellent Volts partnership between Llew Johnson (72) and Mitch Renwick (42).
The pair violently took the Volts from 114/4 in the 12th over to 191/5. For the ACES, Danru Ferns finished with 3-43 from his four overs as the Volts amassed 219/7 from their action-packed 20 overs.
In reply, the ACES didn’t quite match the Volts through the powerplay. A big sixth over, where Will O’Donnell and Sean Solia took 17 runs of the over, however, kept the ACES in the contest. Still requiring 12 runs per over for the final 14 overs, there was little time to waste and when O’Donnell and Phillips were both caught on the leg-side boundary, the task got even tougher.
Matt Bacon (3-18) had a hand in driving the required run-rate up and when he had Solia (30) caught in the covers, the ACES needed a post-Christmas miracle. Though Ben Horne played a lovely hand, his 65 off 35 balls came too late for the ACES to muster a late challenge.
A series of late run-outs sealed what was an impressive 45-run victory by the Volts.
The ACES and HEARTS now head to New Plymouth for a pair of New Years Eve showdowns with the Stags and Hinds.