Satterthwaite, Ebrahim, Tahuhu help Magicians to Super Smash title despite Kerr's hat-trick
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How often does it so happen that a player who picks up a hat-trick and pegs the opposition back ends up on the losing clash? How often does it so happen that a team that is almost down and out, rises up and goes on to emerge victorious, and that too in a title clash? It happened on Saturday (February 13) at the Basin Reserve.
Amelia Kerr's treble almost sealed the fourth successive Super Smash title for Wellington Blaze but Kate Ebrahim and Lea Tahuhu's rearguard saw Canterbury Magicians do a Phoenix and clinch their fifth title in the competition.
Chasing almost a run-a-ball total of 126, the Magicians were off to a horror start as they lost Natalie Cox (three) to a run-out. Their star batter Amy Satterthwaite (zero), too, did not last long as she got out to Jess Kerr for nought.
The Magicians were progressing steadily towards their target at 40 for two after 9.2 overs with skipper Frances Mackay and Ebrahim in the middle. What followed was a brilliant display of leg-spin and deception. In the second legitimate delivery of the over, Amelia bowled a loopy googly that deceived Mackay (24) and hit the top of off stump. The next two deliveries were a tad flatter and quicker and did not miss the stumps - getting rid of both Kirsty Nation and Emma Kench for the leggie to register a hat-trick. And with that Amelia had turned the game around for Blaze in a single over.
At the halfway mark, the Magicians were grappling at 42 for five. With Maneka Singh dismissing Melissa Banks (three), they were further down to 60 for six. Tahuhu then joined Ebrahim in the middle and launched a counterattack. She smashed two massive sixes off Amelia while Ebrahim was happy to anchor the innings. They added 45 runs from the first thirty balls together and brought down the equation to 21 runs from 12 balls.
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Ebrahim then hit back-to-back boundaries off Sophie Devine in the 19th over leaving nine runs for the last over. A six down the ground from Tahuhu on the second delivery of the final over helped Magicians win the match by four wickets. She finished with an unbeaten 38 from just 20 balls, while Ebrahim was unbeaten on 45 off 40.
Earlier, after being asked to bat first, the Blaze openers Devine and Maddy Green started steadily although there were a few nervous moments, especially when Tahuhu employed the short-ball tactics against Devine. However, the duo saw through the new ball and kept the scoreboard moving. Together, they added 62 runs in 51 balls for the first wicket before Mackay removed Green for a run-a-ball 22.
Devine, who looked a bit scratchy after being hit on the helmet by Tahuhu, found her touch and started accelerating. With Amelia, she added 38 runs in 32 balls before getting out to Banks. Devine fell three short of a half-century scoring 47 runs from 45 balls.
After 15 overs the Blaze were going strong at 104 for two, but Satterthwaite had other ideas. While she removed Leigh Kasperek and Rebecca Burns off consecutive deliveries, Mackay ran out Thamsyn Newton in the very next over.
All of a sudden, the Blaze had been reduced to 111 for five. Things only got worse for Blaze as they lost Amelia and Jess off back-to-back deliveries in the next over. While the former was run out by Laura Hughes, Satterthwaite dismissed Jess off the first ball she faced.
Blaze eventually scrapped their way to 125 for eight by the end of 20 overs. Satterthwaite was the pick of the bowlers with three for 13 in her four overs.