The Hearts were on fire again. MButcher/NZC

Five from five!

A disciplined bowling performance kept the Auckland Hearts' perfect record intact in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield in Thursday's round five encounter with Wellington Blaze.


Hearts captain Maddy Green won the toss and batted, but her side got off to a rocky start, losing three early wickets as Deanna Doughty removed both openers while Jess Kerr bowled Green for just one run.

Maia Bouchier (44) and Saachi Shahri (68) combined in the middle order for 83 vital runs, however, to bring the Hearts back into the game.

Saachi Shahri posted her maiden half ton. CREDIT: Jo Murray

Young Shahri (previous best: 20) reached her maiden one-day half century off 73 balls and kept the scoreboard ticking over despite losing partners at an alarming rate once their stand was snapped.

Arlene Kelly (18 not out) arrived at the crease and produced an important cameo to boost the Hearts' total to a competitive 188 for nine after the 50 overs were up, then picked up an early wicket with the ball after lunch to give the Hearts a boost early in the Blaze's chase.

Bella Armstrong (1-14) and Anna Peterson (1-14) kept the pressure on, making scoring very difficult for the strong Blaze line-up.

That pressure told when the Hearts' ace of pace Holly Huddleston (3-19) returned to the attack and ripped through Wellington Blaze's middle order, captain Liz Perry top-scoring with an unbeaten 40 as the last six wickets tumbled for just a further eight runs combined.

Liz Perry fought back in vain. CREDIT: Jo Murray

The Blaze batsmen had found themselves unable to cope with the torrid attack from the Hearts, eventually falling all out for 118 to hand the unbeaten Hearts a comfortable 70-run victory and enhance their standing at the top of the leaderboard. The two sides meet again in Round Six this Friday in Lincoln.

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