Spirit win, Browne stars

Nicola Browne had a special day as the Northern Spirit won by 36 runs over the Wellington Blaze in their 50 over match at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui.

Behind two magnificent centuries from Natalie Dodd and Browne, the Spirit posted 243 for three from their 50 overs.  In reply the Blaze fought hard but fell short when they were dismissed for 207. 

They key moment in the pursuit came in the 21st over, when the powerful Sophie Devine was dismissed for 40. It left the visitors at 97 for four and needing a new hero to stand up. 

A number of the middle and lower order made handy starts, but no one was able to go on and make the big score the Blaze needed. 

Andrea Stockwell was the next highest scorer after Devine on 33, while seven players overall got scores of 17 or higher.

Browne topped off her day with three wickets, while Felicity Leydon-Davis also snared three. 

Earlier Dodd and Browne had put on a staggering 246 for the third wicket. 

The pair came together with their side in the precarious position of being four for two. They slowly but surely set about reviving the innings and took their side past the 200 mark.  

Browne was the first one to bring up triple figures, reaching the landmark off 127 balls. To make the innings even more exceptional, Browne brought up 3100 domestic runs to become the most prolific women’s run scorer. 

The 29 year-old overtook Emily Drum and felt ‘privileged and old’ to have reached the landmark.
 
Dodd also reached her ton, to make it back-to-back centuries. It was another fine display of batting and she remained unbeaten on 106 not out off 150 balls. 

It was a big win for the Spirit, which elevated them to third on the points table. 

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