Blaze top after eight rounds

Boosted by a strong all-round performance from White Fern Sophie Devine with bat and ball, Wellington eased to a four-wicket win over Auckland in the women's domestic Twenty20 competition today.

Devine picked up 3-17 off her four overs as competition leaders Wellington restricted Auckland to 123 for nine off 20 overs after they won the toss at Colin Maiden Park in Auckland.

Auckland's inability to build partnerships cost them dearly, only opener Holly Huddlestone providing an innings of any substance with 30 off 37 balls.

Despite losing Renee Moffitt without scoring in the first over, Welllington paced their response well as Sarah Taylor and Lucy Doolan put on 63 for the second wicket.

Although Taylor, with 21 off 17, and Doolan -- 40 from 27 -- disappeared within five balls of each other, Devine and Liz Perry kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Devine was out in the 15th over, her 27 coming off 23 balls, but Perry remained unbeaten on 21 to anchor Wellington home with three balls to spare.

Central Districts, on equal points with Wellington going into today's game, fell off the pace when they succumbed to an 11-run loss against Canterbury at Paraparaumu, north of Wellington, today.

With captain Amy Satterthwaite's 39 leading the way, Canterbury knocked up 140 for seven after winning the toss.

Satterthwaite featured with the ball as well, picking up 2-38 to back up Kelly Anderson's 2-20 as Central Districts fell 11 runs short in making 129 for seven off their 20 overs.

Northern Spirits; dismal winless run in the competition continued, as Otago comfortably defended their modest 125 for seven total after winning the toss at Queen's Park in Invercargill.

Captain Katey Martin's 54 off 48 was the highlight, while for Northern Nicola Browne was parsimonious in picking up 2-16 off four overs.

In reply, Northern struggled to keep the score ticking over, and only Krista Neilson with 35 and Heidi Arndt's unbeaten 27 gave them any respectability as they battled to 117 for nine.

Points after eight rounds:

Wellington Blaze - 28
Canterbury Magicians - 24
Central Hinds - 24
Wellington Sparks - 16
Auckland Hearts - 4
Northern Spirit - 0'

NZPA

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