Image: Photosport

HEARTS advance to Grand Final

HEARTS v Sparks VIDEO scorecard

The Auckland HEARTS have booked their spot in the Dream11 Super Smash Grand Final with an emphatic five-wicket win over the Otago Sparks at Eden Park Outer Oval.

Captain Anna Peterson (57* off 50) and Lauren Down (37 off 33) put together a rapid opening partnership of 94 off just 64 balls as the HEARTS reached their target of 121 with 21 balls to spare.

The HEARTS will now travel to Wellington, where they will meet the undefeated Wellington Blaze at the Basin Reserve on Sunday.

Beginning at 12:40pm, the match will be the first in a Grand Final double-header, with the Wellington Firebirds to face either the Auckland ACES or Otago Volts in the men’s decider at 4:10pm.

Sparks captain Katey Martin won the toss and elected to bat, but the visitors were on the back foot soon after.

The top three of Suzie Bates, Millie Cowan and Martin all departed early and the Sparks were struggling at 35-3 in the eighth over.

Hayley Jensen (41* off 44) provided some stability to the innings, but wickets kept falling at the other end and boundaries were hard to come by.

Amanda-Jade Wellington (15 off 14) and Hannah Darlington (21 off 21) chipped in as the Sparks reached 120-7.

The HEARTS were strong in the field to deny the Sparks momentum throughout. Holly Huddleston claimed 2-23 from her four overs and Bella Armstrong took 1-17.

In reply, Peterson and Down got the hosts off to a flyer. The pair hit nine boundaries in the first six overs to race to 66-0, more than halfway to victory.

The Sparks finally made a breakthrough with the score at 94 when Down was caught off the bowling of Darlington.

That was the start of a late wobble with the loss of four more wickets in the next five overs. Darlington (2-19 off four) and Bates (1-13 off 2.3) made the HEARTS work to close the match out before Peterson hit the winning run in the 17th over.


Friday, January 17
Men's Elimination Final
Otago Volts v Auckland ACES, University of Otago Oval
4:10pm, LIVE on SKY Sport, LIVE on Radio Sport

Sunday, January 19
Women's Grand Final
Wellington Blaze v Auckland HEARTS, Basin Reserve
12:40pm, LIVE on SKY Sport, LIVE on Radio Sport
Men's Grand Final
Wellington Firebirds v TBC, Basin Reserve
4:10pm, LIVE on SKY Sport, LIVE on Radio Sport