Northern Spirit beat Central Hinds by five wickets at St Paul’s Collegiate, Te Kowhai on 3 December 2017
The Central Hinds had gone two from two in the first two days of their big away games against Northern Spirit — but it was third time lucky for their hosts on the outskirts of Hamilton.
Sent in, the visitors found themselves batting first for the first time in the trio of matches at St Paul’s and, despite losing two early wickets, recovered thanks to opener Rebecca Burns (36) batting into the 23rd over, and breaking a window along the way while allowing captain Anlo van Deventer (27) and then Kerry Tomlinson to build runs around her.
Van Deventer shared a 54-run stand with Burns while Tomlinson’s form looked to be getting stronger with every match, the rejuvenated former Spirit rep belting 52 off just 57 balls against her old teammates for her ninth List A half century — and taking the keeper-batsman’s run of scores in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield this season to a useful 46, 42, 34 and 52.
Former Canterbury Magician Meddy Hyde meanwhile had her best day yet for Spirit, claiming a career best 3-21, including three maidens in her eight overs.
However, the Hinds were putting up resistance once more, Tomlinson sharing a 59-run stand with Hannah Rowe (33) and Rosemary Mair seeing the Hinds through to their full allotment of overs, unbeaten after a valuable and brisk 36 that helped extend their total to 213 for eight.
It was game on for the Spirit, but Rowe made a big early breakthrough by getting Natalie Dodd caught off her second over. None of the ensuing Spirit order reached 50, with opener Katie Gurrey on the cusp at 49 when she was caught off Mikaela Greig, having batted steadily almost to the midpoint of the chase.
The Hinds took wickets regularly enough to maintain a sniff, while Spirit's successive batsmen were stringing together handy little partnerships that extended to 55 for the third wicket.
It was one of those games where each side was neither quite in charge, nor ever out of it and, when Melissa Hansen claimed Bernadine Bezuidenhout for her second wicket on 43, Spirit was five down and still 52 short, pushing things back into the balance.
However, Regina Lili'i and Kate Anderson kept their cool and steadily steered the hosts home, both finishing unbeaten on 28 with 2.5 overs to spare.