A solid batting performance backed up by outstanding bowling helped the Auckland Hearts to victory in a rain-impacted match at Eden Park Outer Oval. The Saturday encounter was the opening One-Dayer of 2015/16 — and it meant the Hearts got one back on the SBS Bank Otago Sparks, who had comprehensively defeated them in the season-opening T20 the previous day.
A showery morning in Auckland had seen the Hearts play a disrupted first innings, but they manged to make 226/9 in their 50 overs.
The total was built on the back of an excellent knock of 79 from Katie Perkins that featured nine boundaries. Dynamo Perkins played a vital role for her side, remaining solid and nearly batting into the final over of the day.
Further up the order, in her 99th game Victoria Lind continued her excellent work from the day before as she opened up with a steady 39. Sara McGlashan also got a start with 28, but wasn’t able to kick on from there. None of the other Hearts could get going, until Lulu Matthews notched 23 not out to help close the innings.
In reply, the Sparks made their intentions clear early as Suzy Bates and Cowan got into the Auckland attack.
Boundaries were flowing for both and it wasn’t until a tight spell from Arlene Kelly that they showed any signs of slowing.
Kelly picked up the wicket of Cowan and then the introduction of spin, through Georgia Guy, saw Bates go. The wicket of Bates was a big one for the Hearts, who knew having her back the in the sheds was a big blow.
Leigh Kasperek did her best to fight back for the Sparks, but after looking solid, the two rain delays seemed to get the better of proceedings. The first came well short of the 20 overs needed to make a match, but was only brief. Play continued until 21 overs when the wet returned. Following a long, gloomy delay that featured some heavy downpours, the benefits of Eden Park’s rapid drainage were on display.
Play was able to start and sharp spells from Holly Huddleston, who was playing her 50th Hearts one-day game, Roz McNeill and Matthews saw the Hearts home after a rather late finish. The win sets up and interesting final encounter for the sides on Sunday to see who will take the most from the three back-to-back matches.
Features of the match included:
- One-day debut for Ella Brown (SBS Bank Otago Sparks)
- 50th domestic one-day match for Anna Peterson (Auckland Hearts)
- 50th one-day match for Auckland Hearts for Holly Huddleston (also played 35 matches for Northern Spirit)
- Record 8th wicket partnershp for Auckland v Otago (38; previous best was 34* by RE Cox/AN Kelly at Auckland, 2013/14)
- Best one-day bowling by Roz McNeill (previously 3-21)