Unbeaten Wellington Blaze romp to seventh Super Smash title

Unbeaten Wellington Blaze romp to seventh Super Smash title

Wellington crowned champions in Super Smash © Getty Images

Wellington Blaze finished their perfect season in style as they lifted their seventh Super Smash title after a comprehensive win over Otago Sparks at the Seddon Park in Hamilton on Saturday (January 29). Sophie Devine was the star of the show with her all-round performance, while skipper Maddy Green and Leigh Kasperek also were instrumental as they won the Grand Final of 2021-22 season after the heartbreak in the last edition.

Blaze, unbeaten in the season with ten wins from ten matches, opted to bat first with Sophie Devine setting the tone with the first ball of their innings. After hitting Hayley Jensen for a boundary in it, she then smashed Emma Black for a six in the second over. Jensen came back with the wicket of Georgia Plimmer in third over.

However, that brought in-form Amelia Kerr to the crease and with Devine she added 40 runs in quick time. Black came for severe punishment from the duo as Blaze ended the power play on 43 for one. In the ninth over, Eden Carson struck with the big wicket of Amelia.

That’s when Green walked into the crease and got going immediately with a boundary off the first ball and she Carson for another four in the same over. After bringing up her fifty from 41 balls, Devine upped the ante and scored ten runs from next two balls with a four and a six before repeating the feat against Jensen.

In the 18th over, Devine went on a rampage against Carson hitting her for back-to-back sixes as the medium pacer ended up giving away 50 runs from her four overs. At the other end, Green didn’t slow down either as she hit Kate Ebrahim for a maximum and then scored a couple to bring up her fifty from just 32 balls.

Just when it looked like Devine would go on to score a century, Black sent her back on the score of 92 off just 62 balls and she also accounted for Green with the final delivery of the innings. But Sparks couldn’t stop Blaze from raking up their highest team score of the season as they finished on 175 for four.

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In reply, Polly Inglis started well for Sparks with three boundaries before getting dismissed by Maneka Singh. In the next ball, they suffered a body blow as they lost Suzie Bates – the leading run-getter of the tournament – with Jess Kerr accounting for her.

From there, it was an uphill task for the rest of the Sparks batters against the quality Blaze bowling unit. Although, Katey Martin hit a couple of boundaries, Devine came into the attack and immediately struck to remove Kate Ebrahim and Martin in consecutive overs. Amelia joined her international team-mate to reduce Sparks to 47 for five with the wicket of Jensen.

Once the top order was blown away, it was only a matter of time before Sparks conceded the game to Blaze. Off-spinner Leigh Kasperek came in to take three wickets in her first seven balls to join the party.

The Otago side were eventually bowled out for 100 in the 18th over, handing Blaze the win with a whopping victory margin of 75 runs. For Blaze, Kasperek took three wickets for 23 runs, while Devine finished with enviable figures of two for 14 from 3.3 overs.

Brief Scores: Wellington Blaze 175/4 in 20 overs (Sophie Devine 92, Maddy Green 55; Emma Black 2/36) beat Otago Sparks 100/10 in 17.3 overs (Katey Martin 16, Emma Black 16; Leigh Kasperek 3/23, Sophie Devine 2/14) by 75 runs

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