SKYCITY Hamilton Northern Spirit (158-4 in 20 overs) lost to Auckland Hearts (162-2 in 18.4 overs) by eight wickets at Bert Sutcliffe Oval
The Spirit went on the charge from the first over, with Katie Gurrey (57 from 48) and skipper Samantha Curtis (60 not out from 49 balls) putting on 88 for the first wicket. The pair plundered nine fours each in their innings as they rocked the Hearts attack back on their heels. Gurrey's cut shot found the gaps more often than not and was set to go really big when she was run out from a direct hit on the stumps by Anna Peterson at point.
There was no respite however as Curtis pushed on to bring up her own half ton and she kept hitting to the end to take her team to 158 for four on a pitch that looked increasingly batting-friendly all the time.
The Hearts came out firing with Anna Peterson and wicketkeeper Tahlia Wilson putting on 105 for the first wicket. With the ball coming onto the bat nicely the openers took it to the Spirit attack with Peterson storming down the wicket to put a Carolyn Esterhuizen full toss over long on for six, and striking eight fours on all sides of the wicket to reach 65 from 48.
Wilson was an ideal foil, working the ball around for her 44 from 38. Both openers were run out, but the Hearts' experienced pair of Sara McGlashan (25 from 17) and Maddy Green (24 from 9) had the luxury of wickets in hand and showed no nerves as they ran down the big target. Green ended things with an over to go, smashing Felicity Leydon-Davis over her head for four and the win with an over and two balls up her sleeve.