Dodd's timing was a joy to watch | PHOTOSPORT

Hinds break their hoodoo

Feeling the heat after four losses on the bounce, the Central Hinds broke their hoodoo in style at a packed Fitzherbert Park in Palmerston North.

The familiar home turf of a clutch of the players from Central proved a happy hunting ground as the team produced a 14-run win to get on the board against the fighting Auckland Hearts.

Opener Natalie Dodd produced her second half century of the campaign to help her side regain control after the early loss of captain Jess Watkin who had won the toss and batted on a warm summer morning.

Watkin had been caught at 10/1 after Arlene Kelly led the way with the ball for the Hearts, finishing with a fine 1-18 off her four overs - but to no avail.

The Hinds showed composure as Dodd (57 off 55) and Georgia Atkinson (32 off 34) built a 67-run stand for the second wicket that ensured they could post a competitive total.

Dodd brought up her half century off 48 balls, the lithe batter's timing and placement a joy to watch before the Hearts fought back in the last five overs.

After the loss of Atkinson at the 13-over mark, another hometown Hind in Mikaela Greig thrilled the crowd with a six off Anna Peterson, injecting a quick cameo before Holly Huddleston (1-26) and Jesse Prasad, who ultimately stopped Dodd on 57 for 1-20 off her two overs, clamped down.

Peterson had taken the wicket of Atkinson but had a day to forget after spooning up a catch to Ocean Bartlett off Watkin first ball of the chase, as the Hearts went after the Hinds' 127/5. Earlier Peterson had been struck on the head and would rest out the remainder of the match under concussion protocols.

Hearts captain Lauren Down and Bella Armstrong steadied with a 31-run second wicket stand, Down finding the boundaries early against fellow WHITE FERN Rosemary Mair.

But they had been frustrated by tight work at the top with the ball from Watkin and Claudia Green who relished the two-paced conditions for a return of 2-13 off her four.

Green snaffled the big wicket of Down in the seventh over, then swooped again for Armstrong at 41/3 in the ninth.

The strong Hearts line-up kept fighting with a 48-run fourth wicket stand between Katie Perkins and Holly Huddleston keeping the visitors in the game.

Spinner Watkin (2-16) got a key second wicket as she lured Perkins (33 off 34) into looping up a catch to Hannah Rowe who had just saved four runs the previous ball.

Huddleston reached 22 before perishing in the penultimate over and the Hearts found themselves losing their way in the back end of the chase as the Hinds clung on to celebrate at last.

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