Captain Liz Perry will head into her 100th one-day match for Wellington Blaze today with that winning feeling after her side was the only team to get a full match in and a win in Saturday’s round seven Hallyburton Johnstone Shield.
The iffy weather closing in on the country dodged Karori Park as Wellington turned on a warm day for the 23-run victory over Northern Spirit that took the Blaze to within just four points of leaders the Auckland Hearts, whose game in Palmerston North was abandoned after the first innings.
But it was no sure thing for Perry’s side after Northern Spirit captain Nat Dodd sent them in and restricted them to a fair 213 at the boutique suburban ground.
Perry herself led the way with a vital unbeaten 86 at run-a-ball pace, recasting the anchor for the innings after the hosts had been in a bit of bother at 101 for five midway through their dig.
Jess Kerr’s 23 offered some support, but it was largely a one-woman show as Perry got them through to their tally, Blaze all out after a run out on the last delivery.
Spirit had lived up to their name, always competitive Samoa international Regina Lili’i claiming a superb 4-29 and Kate Anderson 3-40 off her nine overs.
But the visitors got off to a less than ideal start, losing both Bernadine Bezuidenhout — star of the previous day’s T20 win — and captain Dodd in the second over, trapped and bowled respectively by Alexx Evans.
Evans would later return to the crease to take out the important wicket of Lili’i (29) to have the Northerners 105 for six after Jess Kerr claimed the three intervening wickets in quick succession, crucially stopping stylish hard-hitter and WHITE FERN Sam Curtis on 40.
Katie Gurrey put up a rearguard fight with her half century at seven (her second at this level) but it was Kerr who was left in the winner’s circle with a fine 5-44 off her 10 overs — her maiden one-day five-for — and the win in the bag.