A tight one-wicket win thrilled Wellington Blaze supporters and gutted the Central Hinds in round five of the national Women’s One-Day warfare in Lincoln — gutting because it meant the Hinds remained winless at the midway mark of the competition despite a strong performance.
The Hinds had posted an impressive 246 for five after opting to bat first on Bert Sutcliffe Oval, led by their captain Michelle Mitchell’s 83 at the top and then a career best knock of 80 from 23-year-old Anlo van Deventer, coming in at five when the Hinds were in a spot of early bother at 38 for three in the ninth over.
Two solid partnerships ensued, first between Mitchell and van Deventer, then van Deventer and the Hinds’ sole WHITE FERN Hannah Rowe who finished unbeaten with a 41-ball 44.
It was a confidence booster of a performance, but the Blaze responded in kind. Despite the early loss of openers Eimear Richardson and Amelia Kerr, Suzie McDonald (50 off 75) and skipper Liz Perry (57 off 62) steadied the proverbial ship with a 117-run stand for the third wicket.
Rowe finally made the breakthrough in the 29th over, and Perry perished a few balls later in a double whammy for the Hinds — Rowe taking the catch, this time, off 18-year-old Jess Watkin.
Fran Wilson then stepped in with a hand of 35, but regular wickets started to spell ‘nail-biter’ and the Blaze camp’s nervometer went up.
At 225 for nine in the 45th over, it was edge of the seat material, however an unbroken 10th wicket stand of 22 between Deanna Doughty and Rosemary Cockle got the Wellingtonians home with seven balls to spare.