An outstanding opening partnership has helped the Otago Sparks to a 21 run win over the Central Hinds.
Chasing 135 for victory, the Hinds were not consistent enough with the bat to reach what should have been an achievable total.
For the second day in a row Otago decided to put the runs on the board first and got off to a better start than they could have dreamed of.
Katey Martin and Suzie Bates came to the crease and punished every single one of the Central bowlers. They put on a terrific 106 for the first wicket before Martin was dismissed on 42.
Bates though kept going, despite watching wickets tumble regularly at the other end. In fact apart from the two openers, nobody else even made it to double figures for the Sparks.
Bates was dismissed for 62, but she had done what was required and helped her side reach the challenging total of 134, having lost seven wickets.
It could have been better for the Southerners had they not lost three wickets to run outs. Kate Baxter was the only other thorn in Otago’s foot. She picked up the incredible figures of four for 11 from four overs.
In reply the Hinds had a similar looking scorecard to the Sparks – two decent scores amongst a sea of single digits.
Rachel Priest made 13, but the only two batsmen to really get going were Sara McGlashan (31) and Kate Broadmore (32). The pair looked likely to lead their team past the home side until two bad pieces of running between the wickets saw both dismissed.
With fresh faces at the crease Central struggled to maintain the required run rate and started to lose wickets regularly.
In the end the Hinds were still 22 runs short of victory as they finished on 213 for nine.
Three run outs and two wickets from Bates gave Otago its second win in as many days.