Super Smash: Auckland Hearts outclass Canterbury Wizards in last-ball thriller

Hearts captain Lauren Down had an undefeated 66 in opening batting against the Magicians.

SHANE WENZLICK/PHOTOSPORT

Hearts captain Lauren Down had an undefeated 66 in opening batting against the Magicians.

On Friday, Auckland Hearts edged Canterbury Magicians by the narrowest of margins in the Twenty20 Super Smash.

White Ferns veteran Amy Satterthwaite led the way for the Magicians as they chased 136 to win at Eden Park Outer Oval but was off the last ball with two needed for the win, handing the Hearts a one-point win .

Fellow White Fern Lauren Down achieved a 66-on-59 unbeaten opener for Hearts, after winning the toss and opting to strike.

As Satterthwaite improved to 71 from 59, she was unable to connect with the final ball, played by Holly Huddleston, giving Hearts wicketkeeper Izzy Gaze a single catch that sealed a spectacular win.

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The triumph was the Hearts’ first in four matches and lifted them to third in the table, ahead of the Magicians in net run rate.

Down and Huddleston combined earlier for a crucial 75-for-66 partnership after the Hearts collapsed to 40-3 in the eighth.

Playing a full set of overs for the first time all summer, on her return from a shoulder injury, Lea Tahuhu won two first wickets and finished with 2-13 from her four overs.

Huddleston was out for 42-of-40 in the penultimate inning, but Down carried his bat as the Hearts went 135-4 on 20 assists.

The Magicians celebrate one of Lea Tahuhu's two wickets against Hearts.

SHANE WENZLICK/PHOTOSPORT

The Magicians celebrate one of Lea Tahuhu’s two wickets against Hearts.

The Magicians lost Natalie Cox early, when an Arlene Kelly inswinger jumped on her stumps to send her off for a duck.

Frankie Mackay capitalized on her luck as she got off to a rocky start, surviving a shout for a catch behind the wicket on the 14th, but eventually went down for 34 balls from 41.

She was caught by debutant Josie Penfold bowling fellow White Fern Molly Penfold and Tahuhu went the same way for 11 from six, shortly after being dropped deep by Bella Armstrong.

Satterthwaite was going to have to guide her team home and she lost Jacinta Savage with 15 needed from 10, when bowler Fran Jonas got a hand to hit straight and chased her away with the deflection.

The veteran entered the final, only to be knocked down by Huddleston, on strike with 10 needed.

After running three on poor ground from deep, she was back on the strike with four needed from two and ran a two, as her skid shot crossed the inside circle offside.

Then came the final ball, where his luck changed.

Hearts’ next Super Smash game is next Saturday against second-placed Otago Sparks, while the Magicians have to wait until January 18 for a rematch at Hagley Oval.

Twenty20 Super Smash

Auckland Hearts 135-4 (Lauren Down 66no of 58; Holly Huddleston 42 of 40; Lea Tahuhu 2-13) beat Canterbury Wizards 134-5 (Amy Satterthwaite 71 of 59, Frankie Mackay 34 of 41; Molly Penfold 2-29) at once

MVP at bat: Lauren Down (Hearts)

Bowling MVP: Lea Tahuhu (Magicians)

Brian L. Hartfield