Katie Perkins keeps Auckland Hearts in the race for Eliminator as they beat Central Hinds

Katie Perkins keeps Auckland Hearts in the race for Eliminator as they beat Central Hinds

Katie Perkins’ outstanding fifty coupled with a hundred-plus opening stand alongside Lauren Down ensured Auckland Hearts won their Super Smash game at the Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday (January 22). With this win, Auckland finished their quota of ten games but also ensured that they kept their hopes alive for finishing in the top three. 

Earlier in the day, Central Hinds won the toss and elected to bat first. Holly Huddleston got rid of Emily Cunningham in the third over but that paved the way for a stable second-wicket stand between Kerry-Anne Tomlinson and Rosemary Mair. The pair put on 70 runs together before Bella Armstrong managed to get the scalps of both. Tomlinson got out in the 14th over for 40 while Mair got out for 34 in the 16th over. 

Once the pair was dismissed, Hinds needed some fireworks to end the innings on a high, which was provided by Mikaela Greig, who scored 26 off 18 while Hannah Rowe made 21 off 14. Hinds got 42 runs from the last four overs as they finished on 135 for three. Armstrong’s brace of wickets made her the pick of the bowlers for Hearts. 

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In reply, Perkins and Down gave a fantastic start to Auckland in the run chase. Some wayward bowling inside the power play saw them get settled down well without too much stress, scoring 36 in the first six overs. Once the required rate started to climb up, the duo put their foot on the accelerator and got a few boundaries in. They ensured at the halfway stage, they were right at the point where they should have been. 

Their partnership picked up pace really after the halfway stage, with Perkins playing the role of the aggressor. The stand was broken for 111 runs with Perkins being dismissed in the 15th over for 67 runs from 54 balls. Down was dismissed in the very next over for a 38-ball 36. Huddleston and Saachi Shahri with their cameos of seven and 15 respectively helped in sealing the run chase with eight wickets and nine balls to spare. 

Brief scores: Central Hinds 135/3 in 20 overs (Kerry-Anne Tomlinson 40; Bella Armstrong 2/24) lost to Auckland Hearts 136/2 in 18.3 overs (Katie Perkins 67; Rosemary Mair 1/20) by eight wickets. 

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