The Auckland Hearts have pulled off an amazing upset to beat the Canterbury Magicians by five wickets in the Action Cricket Cup final.
The unbeaten Magicians were undone by a masterful display by West Indie’s import Stefanie Taylor. Taylor smashed 110 to lead her side to victory and secure the trophy in the 46th over.
Auckland won the toss and decided to bowl first and kept Canterbury to just 201 for seven off their 50 overs.
It was a far more conservative Magician’s batting performance than in previous weeks and the run-rate was below par from the start of the innings.
Once again Frances Mackay was the rock of the innings for Canterbury and lasted until the final over of the innings before being run out on 93. That 93 though cost 153 balls, an unusually low strike rate from the talented opener.
She found bits and pieces from the rest of her team, but never really formed a solid partnership that hurt the Hearts.
Amy Satterthwaite hit 27 and Hayley Jensen made 20 to make sure that Canterbury had 201 runs to play with when it came to their time to bowl.
It was an ok score, but probably still 60 or 70 short of what they wanted.
Sarah Bullen was exceptional with the ball and took figures of two for 43 from ten overs.
In reply Auckland was dominant with the bat from the outset.
Taylor and Sam Curtis looked like they might make the total themselves until Curtis was dismissed in the 25th over for 40 with the Hearts sitting at 113.
Taylor though was seeing the ball brilliantly and carried on whacking the bowlers all around Mainpower Oval. Maddy Green and Katie Perkins were dismissed cheaply, but Taylor went on to make a brilliant century which included 16 boundaries.
She was sadly dismissed just before the final runs were made, but her Captain Victoria Lynd took the reins and saw her side to victory.
Lynd finished on 24 not out and made the finals runs to claim a historic victory with one ball left in the 46th over. The Hearts had lost five wickets, but never really looked in doubt and went on to glory.
It was the Magician’s first loss of the season and one couldn’t help but feel sorry for them.
They do get their chance for revenge tomorrow with the two sides meeting for the Twenty20 final, another competition that the Magicians are undefeated in.
The question is whether Auckland can spoil the party again.