Maddy Green, Leigh Kasperek star as Wellington Blaze win big in HBJ Shield

Leigh Kasperek (L) and Maddy Green (R) © Getty Images

A magnificent ton from Maddy Green and a five-wicket haul from Leigh Kasperek helped Wellington Blaze make it two-in-two against Auckland Hearts in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield (HBJ Shield) at the Kennards Hire Community Oval in Auckland on Tuesday (January 4).

Opting to bat first, Blaze openers Jessica McFadyen and Rebecca Burns added 44 runs in 10.5 overs. Once they fell in quick succession, Green joined in-form Amelia Kerr and the duo continued from where they left in Monday’s game.

The pair shared a 70-run stand for the third wicket as they took Blaze over the 100-run mark. In the 24th over, Jesse Prasad gave Hearts the big breakthrough when she accounted for Amelia. That didn’t stop Green’s aggression as she brought up her fifty from 42 balls.

From 135 for four, Green and Kasperek added 58 runs for the fifth wicket and another handy 20 plus score from Thamsyn Newton helped Blaze to continue their attack. Meanwhile, Green got to her third List A century from 91 balls in an innings comprising of 13 boundaries.

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Although Green fell soon after, an unbeaten cameo from Jess Kerr helped Blaze to a mammoth score of 277 for eight from the 50 overs. Jess scored 20 from just 13 balls. For Auckland, Fran Jonas and Amie Hucker picked up two wickets each.

In reply, Hearts didn’t have the greatest of starts as they lost in-form Lauren Down fairly early with Xara Jetly accounting for her in the seventh over. When Katie Perkins became Kasperek’s first victim, they were struggling at 54 for four in 13.5 overs.

From there, Holly Huddleston and Saachi Shahri resurrected the innings with a 98-run partnership and Hearts were looking on course in the chase with the score reading 152 for four in 34 overs.

However, Kasperek struck again to remove Shahri for a well-made 53 off 67 balls and accounted for Prasad in the same over. By the time Huddleston became the off-spinner’s fourth scalp, Hearts were out of the game and didn’t take much time for them to be bowled out for 199.

With the wicket of Hucker, Kasperek completed her fifth List A five-wicket haul and finished the match with figures of five for 45. Maneka Singh and Jetly supported her with two-wicket each.

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Blaze now have four wins from six matches – two of them were washed out – while Hearts are yet to register a win as they succumbed to their third defeat from as many matches.

Brief Scores: Wellington Blaze 277/8 in 50 overs (Maddy Green 106, Amelia Kerr 29; Fran Jonas 2/37) beat Auckland Hearts 199/10 in 47.3 overs (Saachi Shahri 53, Holly Huddleston 36; Leigh Kasperek 5/45) by 78 runs

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