Former WHITE FERN Sara McGlashan’s first match in a year for the Hearts was a resounding success as she and captain Maddy Green ran down a chase of 148, defeating the Otago Sparks with just seven balls to spare.
McGlashan finished with an unbeaten half century while it was captain Green who tapped the winning runs in her unbeaten 36 at better than run-a-ball pace, the pair having belted an unbroken 75-run stand for the third wicket.
Together with allrounder Anna Peterson’s typically lively 42 off 31, it was a solid comeback from losing Peterson's fellow opener Lauren Down first ball of the reply.
The Hearts had earlier been asked to field by Sparks captain Suzie Bates (above) who contributed a watchful 16 while Katey Martin went ballistic at the other end, smashing 67 off just 41 balls in their 88-run stand for the southerners' second wicket.
They were out within minutes of each other, however, in the same Bella Armstrong over, the Auckland teenager (above) picking up an all-star 2-35 and the Sparks pair leaving Leigh Kasperek (below) to continue their work with a solid 31 off just 20 balls, Beth Langston finishing unbeaten on 25 alongside.
But the measured start would prove costly in the final analysis as the strong Hearts top order took the attack to the Sparks bowlers early and never took their foot off the pedal until bringing home their fifth win in six games, only marginally dropping behind the Blaze on net run rate on the all important points table as the two city sides scrap their way ever nearer towards trophy time.