Captain's knock from Jeet Raval | PHOTOSPORT

Team Brave caps year in style

Twin wins for Northern Brave away at Pukekura Park created the perfect end to their 2021 calendar year - including a first win on the board at last for the women in their sixth match of the campaign.

In front of a big Central home crowd, the two hosts meanwhile went winless despite some good individual performances - including a career best with the ball from Central Hinds pace bowler Monique Rees.

Rees (3-12 off three overs), Hannah Rowe (a lean 1-16 off four), spinner Jess Watkin (1-24) and Rosemary Mair (2-25) all enjoyed a surface that didn't have an abundance of pace after heavy rain earlier in the week.

Northern opener Caitlin Gurrey's quick 44 at the top would catalyse the Brave women to a total of 123/8 after winning the toss, however - which proved to be just enough to be defendable in a tight and chaotic chase for Central.

The problem was the usual one for the Hinds who stuttered after losing their key batters - Jess Watkin's departure at 44/3 in the eighth a big blow after she had blasted her 21 off just 14 balls.

Mair dug deep for the top score of 26, supported by clean striker Mikaela Greig (24) whose big-hitting style was chastened by the match scenario.

Brooke Halliday and Shriya Naidu picked up a couple of wickets each but the killer for the Hinds was four runouts, including two as three wickets fell in the space of four balls at the death.

The Hinds had needed just 10 runs off the last overs with five wickets in hand, but it was a panicky finish that left them also sitting on just one win from six matches as they limped home short at 120/9, Nensi Patel closing out a thrilling victory for the hungry Brave.

SCORES

The Northern men completed the raid on Central thanks to a classy unbeaten 66 off 46 rocks from captain Jerry Raval.

Raval had won the toss and opted to bowl after having seen the pace of the women's match, and his attack did well to restrict the Stags to 145/8 in the first 20 overs.

The Stags shot themselves in the foot with a total that was propped up by the country's leading runscorer Dane Cleaver (65 off 42) and support eventually from Doug Bracewell who finished unbeaten on 36*.

But there was little else to write home about as Scott Kuggeleijn helped himself to three wickets as well as contributing to the run out of steady opener Greg Hay, a big early loss on this surface.

Raval ensured the his side could hunt ithe runs down with 2.1 overs to spare, with contributions from Joe Carter (32) and Henry Cooper (25* off 12) to take the Brave into a clear lead at the top of the table.

SCORES