One apiece after Wellington visit Bay Oval
Published on 01 Jan 2020
Bay Oval's opening Dream11 Super Smash fixtures for the season saw the Knights beat the high-flying Wellington Firebirds, but the SkyCity Hamilton Northern Spirit fall to the all-conquering Wellington Blaze.
In the men's game the Firebirds batted first in an innings that was about two partnerships and a flurry of wickets.
The Firebirds were fast out the gate, racing to 41 inside four overs before Brett Randell had Michael Pollard caught for 23.
From there Ish Sodhi put the ball to work and his outstanding bowling was rewarded with three wickets, picking-up the prized scalps of Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra and Jimmy Neesham as he finished with more than tidy figures of 3-12 from his four.
When Anurag Verma continued his good Super Smash form to have Michael Bracewell caught by Tim Seifert, the Firebirds were in trouble at 108/5 in the 15th.
This is when Fraser Colson and Jamie Gibson came together. The pair added 33 in 16 balls and looked like they could take the Firebirds to a big total, but Randell came back into the attack and dismissed both batsmen.
Malcolm Nofal was run out attempting a second run off the last ball which meant the Firebirds finished on 161/8.
Anton Devcich started the chase with aggressive intent, hammering a couple of fours along with Seifert before the former was caught for 14; 30/1 after four.
Sefiert and Dean Brownlie began crafting a nice partnership, and Brownlie the pair had put the Knights ahead of the game with 70 on the board after eight overs before Brownlie was trapped LBW for 24.
This brought the Knights' key man, Daryl Mitchell, to the crease.
Seifert added more runs to his tally before being dismissed for 30, but by the time he had departed Mitchell had his eye in and was beginning to find the boundary with ease.
He had already put one onto the leg side bank and hit them to the fence around the ground when Hampton was dismissed for eight, and shortly afterwards he raised a clinical half-century off just 30 balls.
By the time Mitchell was removed for 58, the back of the chase had been broken, and Daniel Flynn, playing his 100th T20 match for the Knights, hit consecutive boundaries before a Carter single secured a five-wicket victory with an over to spare.
The earlier game saw the Spirit come up against a Blaze side undefeated in six matches.
Despite some early success when Lily Mulivai removed Rebecca Burns in the first over and Felicity Leydon-Davis accounted for Rachel Priest in the sixth to leave the Blaze 35/2, it was easy to see why the Blaze are such a force in the Super Smash.
Maddy Green and Sophie Devine added 124 in just 61 deliveries, with the pair hitting 10 sixes between them, before Carolyn Esterhuizen had Green caught by Mulivai for 41.
Throughout this partnership Devine had gone passed her half-century, and the loss of Green didn't deter Devine in her pursuit of runs as she raced to a century off just 51 balls.
She would eventually fall to Mulivai for 112 and Lucy Boucher, making her Spirit debut, would affect a run out on Amelia Kerr to see the Blaze register 201/5 from their 20 overs.
A tough chase got even tougher when the Spirit lost the competition's leading run scorer, Katie Gurrey, in the third over for eight.
Leydon-Davis and Bernadine Bezuidenhout began settling into their work and laying platform for the chase with a mixture of precision boundaries and sharp running between the wickets.
Having just registered a 50 partnership and looking to kick-on, tragedy struck as Leydon-Davis was caught-and-bowled for 15.
When Bezuidenhout departed three balls later, the score was 65/3 in the 11th and the Spirit were all but out of the contest with the run-rate at over 14 an over.
The Spirit still did what they could however to get near the target, with Eimear Richardson and Mulivai in particular sending some big shots over the rope as they attempted to keep pace with the near-impossible run-rate.
Unfortunately, they would keep losing wickets in pursuit of fast runs, and while they would finish their 20 overs, they did so for the loss of nine wickets and with 122 runs on the board, giving the Blaze victory.