Auckland Hearts defeated Otago Sparks by 8 wickets
Melville Park, Auckland 7 December 2019
Twenty-year-old Auckland Hearts right-arm pace bowler Bella Armstrong has had a day to remember at Auckland's Melville Park - setting a new national Women's List A record for best bowling analysis in a one-day innings with brutal figures of 9-4-18-7.
Armstrong's return was also the best one-day performance by any bowler in New Zealand Domestic cricket, with Auckland's Willie Watson holding the men's List A record with 7-23 against Otago in 1984/85.
Claiming a maiden bag of 7-18 against the Otago Sparks, Armstrong's stunning performance eclipsed, by a one run, a Hearts record of 7-19 that had been set by Munokoa Tunupopo in the 1999/2000 season.
Tunupopo had shared the national record with Central Districts' Karen Musson, who had also take a bag of 7-19 against Southern Districts in 1987/88 - also at Melville Park on that occasion.
Remarkably it was Armstrong's maiden bag in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, having taken her previous best of 4-11 in 2015/16, her first season, against Northern Districts; and four-fors on several other occasions since.
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With Holly Huddleston having made the opening breakthrough in the ninth over, Armstrong was never in the running for all 10 in a match, but began picking up her victims one after the other, and claimed two in the space of three balls in the 18th over - including the big wicket of WHITE FERN Katey Martin for a two-ball duck.
Despite the struggling Otago Sparks having regained the services of veteran Martin for today's fifth round of the national one-day Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, the Hearts made short work of their visitors in the landslide victory at Melville Park that was all over before the other matches had even made it to the lunch break.
Dismissed for just 74 after having been sent in by Hearts captain Anna Peterson, the Sparks recorded one of their lowest one-day totals in recent years, Hayley Jensen's 17 the top score as Armstrong had a day to remember.
Armstrong's day also produced a windfall for young keeper Tariel Lamb whose five catches equalled legend Rebecca Rolls's Auckland Hearts record for most dismissals in a one-day innings, set in 2000/01.
Needless to say, a chase of 75 was never going to threaten the Hearts - finalists last season. Saachi Shahri finished unbeaten on 35* after hitting the winning boundary in just the 15th over.
The one-sided win netted the Hearts a valuable bonus point at the right end of a tight table while the youthful Sparks side will have to chalk it up to experience.