All rounder Aimee Watkins took three for 14 and Rachel Priest stroked 45 not out to steer the Central Hinds to an eight wicket win over the Auckland Hearts in the final of the Women’s Twenty20 competition at Nelson Park in Napier.
The Hinds won the toss and had no hesitation in sending the Hearts into bat. The visitors never got going as they struggled against an accurate bowling attack and disciplined fielding effort.
The main contribution to Auckland’s 88 for 8 came from Megan Tremaine who hit and unbeaten 27 with Maddy Green next best on 13.
Hinds bowler, Rachel Candy, set the tone, having opener Michelle Lynch caught behind for seven before ripping through Katie Perkins to finish with two for 10 off her ten overs.
Thirteen year Maneka Singh was tidy, sneering the prize wicket of Auckland Hearts captain Victoria Lind for 13 and only conceding 14 runs.
But it was the experienced Aimee Watkins who caused the most problems, tearing through the middle order and not allowing the Hearts to settle.
The final two Auckland wickets to fell to run outs as the innings ended without a boundary being scored and momentum firmly with the Central Hinds.
The Auckland Hearts got off to the perfect start in defence of their modest total, with Natalee Scripps removing Watkins in the first over for one.
A 61 run partnership between Priest and Sara McGlashan steadied the innings and got them within reach of the target.
McGlashan’s dismissal for 29 in the 15th over coincided with some light drizzle, which induced some jitters as the possibility of a Duckworth/Lewis calculation became a reality but the weather settled without the players having to leave the field.
To the Heart’s credit they never gave up and pushed the Hinds hard until the end with the winning runs coming off the fourth ball in the final over.
Priest and Aroha Northover were the unbeaten batsmen on 45 and 10 respectively.
The win caps a great year for the Central Hinds who went through the round robin stages unbeaten and will contest the Women’s One-Day final against the Wellington Blaze at the same venue tomorrow.
The Central Hinds after winning the 2009/10 Women's Twenty20 final by 8 wickets over the Auckland Hearts.
Aroha Northover embraces Rachel Priest after the winning runs were scored.
Saskia Bullen appeals as Victoria Lind attempts a stumping.
Megan Tremaine takes a moment after the run out of Sandee Hui.