Martin, Kasperek star in wins

Otago Sparks batsman Suzie Bates latches on to a full toss, watched by ND keeper Olivia Lobb,...
Otago Sparks batsman Suzie Bates latches on to a full toss, watched by ND keeper Olivia Lobb, during a women's one-day match at Brooklands Park in Mosgiel on Saturday. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Otago Sparks captain Katey Martin missed out on what would have been her sixth one-day century.

Leigh Kasperek.
Leigh Kasperek.
But the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman got to celebrate two wins at the weekend, and those are the only statistics the 34-year-old really cares about.

She whacked 96 from 84 balls to set up 39-run win against Northern Districts at Brooklands Park yesterday.

The Sparks posted a competitive total of 251. Suzie Bates got the team off to a bright start with 45, while Polly Inglis (35) and Milly Cowan (25) chipped in with useful cameos.

Carolyn Esterhuizen was the pick of the visiting bowlers, with four for 38.

She also featured in a threatening partnership when Northern batted. Esterhuizen (32) and Samantha Curtis (48) added 66 for the seventh wicket.

The pair put the visitors in a decent position, but the tail folded meekly. Northern lost its last three wickets for 14 runs.

Bridget Thayer took two late wickets to help clinch the win, while Emma Black and Bates also took a couple of wickets each.

But it was some crisp batting from Martin which created the platform for the win. She pushed the ball into gaps superbly and also clouted six fours and two sixes in a classy knock.

On Saturday, the Sparks recorded a comfortable eight-wicket win. White Ferns spinner Leigh Kasperek set up the victory with an incredible bowling spell.

The right-armer took five for 10 from 8.5 overs. It was her third five-wicket bag in the format, and helped to dismiss Northern Districts for a paltry 122.

The Sparks cruised to victory, Bates top-scoring with an unbeaten 49. Inglis added 35 and Martin made 21 not out from 20 balls.

In the other games, the defending one-day champions the Auckland Hearts booked a place in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield final with a five-wicket victory against Central Districts in Auckland on Saturday.

But the visitors turned the tables yesterday with a six-wicket win, and remain in second place.

In the capital, Wellington recorded back-to-back wins against Canterbury to close the gap on Central Districts with two round-robin matches remaining.


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