Clinical bowling key for Sparks

Sparks batswoman Polly Inglis plays a cover drive on her 
Sparks batswoman Polly Inglis plays a cover drive on her way to 43 not out against the Hinds at the University of Otago Oval in Dunedin yesterday. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
The Otago Sparks produced a clinical effort with the ball to set-up a seven-wicket win against the Central Hinds in Dunedin yesterday.

The visiting side was restricted to a modest 102 for seven.

Opener Polly Inglis anchored the chase with a fine unbeaten knock of 43 from 38 balls.

The Sparks overhauled the target with the best part of five overs remaining.

White Ferns all-rounder Hayley Jensen took two for 22 and set the tone with a tremendous opening over.

Emma Black nabbed a couple of wickets as well, including the key scalp of Natalie Dodd.

Spinners Eden Carson and Sophie Oldershaw bowled tight spells and medium pacer Gemma Adams was frugal.

Coach Craig Cumming was delighted with the effort.

"We used our best seamers to put pressure on them during the first six [overs] and it panned out that way," Cumming said.

"I thought the fields were really attacking today and we were really positive in everything we did from a bowling point of view and trying to take wickets."

Jensen limited the scoring to just one in the opening over.

Then she lulled power hitter Jess Watkin into a mistake in her next over. The 22-year-old right-hander was caught at mid-off for seven.

The Hinds were 23 for one after the powerplay and in need of a few boundaries to inject some momentum into the innings.

Scoreboard pressure kept building on the visiting team. Sparks captain Katey Martin took the opportunity to attack and reintroduced Jensen.

Dodd was the wicket they were chasing. She was struggling to generate a decent run rate.

Georgia Atkinson found a desired boundary. She crunched a lofted drive down the ground but an attempted reverse sweep from an Eden Carson delivery ended with her stumps being disrupted.

She was gone for 21 and a slick piece of work from Martin behind the stumps resulted in Hannah Rowe being stumped for four.

The Hinds were 73 for three after 15 overs and in need a strong finish. But Dodd got herself bowled for 26 after shuffling to off.

Kerry Tomlinson had more luck. She clouted a couple of boundaries but was caught backing up too far and was run out for 20 from 15 deliveries.

The Sparks’ chase got off to a rapid start in the context of the game.

Claudia Green tossed up a few wides and Millie Cowan hit one of the extra deliveries to the fine-leg boundary.

When you are defending a little over a 100, you cannot afford to concede 10 runs off the first.

The Sparks were in a fortunate position of not having to go very hard at all.

But Cowan played her natural game, which is to attack. She collected four fours during her 20-run cameo. It got the Sparks even further ahead of the game.

Katey Martin (13) and Hayley Jensen (17) got themselves out but Inglis’ mature knock helped ease her side to a second consecutive victory.

J Watkin c Cowan b Jensen 7
G Atkinson b Carson 21
N Dodd b Black 26
H Rowe st Martin b Black 4
K Tomlinson run out (Carson) 20
K Gaging c James b Jensen 9
M Hansen c Blakely b Oldershaw 3
M Rees not out 3
C Green not out 1
Extras (2b, 2lb, 4w) 8
Total (for 7 wkts,  20 overs) 102
Fall: 1-13, 2-48, 3-59, 4-76, 5-89, 6-98, 
Bowling: H Jensen 4 overs, 0 maidens, 22 
runs, 2 wickets (2w); E Black 4-0-26-2 (2w); G 
Adams 4-0-15-0; S Oldershaw 4-0-14-1; E 
Carson 4-0-21-1.
M Cowan b Green 20
P Inglis not out 43
K Martin b Rees 13
H Jensen c Atkinson b Watkin 17
C Blakely not out 9
Extras (3w) 3
Total (for 3 wkts, 15.2 overs) 105
Fall: 1-32, 2-55, 3-92.
Bowling: C Green 3-0-21-1 (2w); M 
Hansen 3-0-20-0; J Watkin 3.2-0-2-1; H Rowe 
3-0-19-0 (1w); M Rees 2-0-13-1; A Kumar 
Result:  Sparks won by seven wickets.

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