It was the right way to end their One-Day season, just a day too late for the Otago Sparks as they powered to a 28-run win over Wellington Blaze as their three days of white ball warfare moved to the Basin Reserve.
Suzie Bates elected to bat and set the tone with a half century at the top, before being caught off young leg-spinner Amelia Kerr in the 23rd over. By then the WHITE FERNS captain had shared a 124-run stand for the second wicket with a punching Katey Martin, the power pairing taking the southerners to 134 for two.
Martin was next to depart, caught behind off Amelia’s sister Jess Kerr for 66 in the 26th. Blaze would spin through the rest of the order with relative ease, Amelia Kerr collecting 4-56 off her 10 as they held the Sparks to 265 for nine — but the Sparks’ total had been crucially assisted by some feisty death hitting from its tail.
Blaze got off to a rocky reply when Priest was stumped second ball, then they lost first drop Suzie McDonald cheaply as well, was bowled by Beth Langston.
But Amelia Kerr wove her magic wand again and steadied things with a handy 40, building a 72-run stand with captain Liz Perry.
Perry’s 61 would be Blaze’s best score and, after she was bowled by Kate Heffernan, contributions from Eimear Richardson (41) and Jess Kerr (a quick unbeaten 50, her maiden half ton) kept the hosts’ hopes up, but the equation escalated on them at the death and they finished all out on 237 in the last over, Leigh Kasperek and Langston both picking up three-fors.
It would be the last One-Day outing of the season for both sides, each finishing mid-table, however for the Sparks a Twenty20 Final on Saturday in Canterbury awaits.