Wellington Blaze – Top Five Moments of the Summer!

It’s been another exciting summer of cricket for the Wellington Blaze – the inaugural women’s Burger King Super Smash trophy locked away, a strong showing in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, plus the introduction of some young talent means there’s plenty to look forward to next season. Here’s our top five moments of the 2018/2019 summer of cricket!

5. 141 run partnership between Jess McFadyen and Liz Perry leads the Blaze to a six-wicket win over the Otago Sparks in round two of Hallyburton Johnstone Shield

After the Blaze got off to a low start in round one of the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield – losing to the Sparks at the Basin – it was vital they got back to winning ways in the second match of the weekend.

Chasing the Sparks first innings total of 201, the Blaze found themselves in all kinds of trouble after losing four early wickets to find themselves 4/61 after 14 overs. Enter captain Liz Perry and Jess McFadyen who began chipping away at the Otago bowlers, grinding down the target and leading the Blaze to a memorable win.

Both batters raised the bat, Perry finishing on 63* and McFadyen finishing on 62* to cap off a gutsy win and put the Blaze’s one-day plans back on track!

4. Liz Perry brings up 2500 List A runs, and Lucy Doolan brings up 3500 List A runs in the same match against Northern Districts in round six of the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield

One of the Blaze’s real strengths this season has been experience, and former WHITE FERNS Liz Perry and Lucy Doolan have shown theirs on numerous occasions.

It was only fitting then that the two veterans brought up big milestones in the same match in the round six Hallyburton Johnstone clash with the Otago Sparks.

Lucy Doolan was the first to do so, bringing 3,500 List A runs before captain Liz Perry followed Doolan’s lead bringing up 2,500 List A runs. A day of milestones for the experienced Blaze duo!

3. Fill The Basin – Jess Kerr leads the Blaze to win over the Magicians in the final over

In a brilliant initiative, Cricket Wellington opened the gates and allowed free entry into the Burger King Super Smash double-header between Wellington and Canterbury, and the action in the middle did not disappoint!

Over 3,500 spectators packed in to the Basin Reserve as the Wellington Blaze kicked off the festivities against the Canterbury Magicians who batted first and posted a competitive 149.

In response the Blaze looked comfortable – Rebecca Burns smashing 62 off 43 balls to leave the Blaze cruising at 120/4 with four overs remaining.

But as wickets tumbled and the pressure mounted it was left to Jess Kerr and Suzie McDonald to navigate the final over and claim the six runs for victory.

Kerr was able to get a thick edge to the third ball to tie the scores and she finished the job the very next ball with a single to claim a tense win in front of a tremendous Basin crowd.

The Firebirds backed up the Blaze heroics, with a crushing 63-run win over the Kings, to top off a memorable day out at the Basin!

2. Amelia Kerr finalist in the Sky Sport Emerging Talent award and New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment at the 56th Annual Halberg Awards

Amelia Kerr has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past two years and her world-record 232 not out for the WHITE FERNS against Ireland has been an obvious highlight. Kerr’s effort was recognized by the prestigious Halberg Foundation earlier this year when she was named as a finalist for New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment at the 56th annual awards.

Amelia has enjoyed another fine year for the Blaze and the WHITE FERNS, topping the wicket-taking charts in the inaugural women’s Burger King Super Smash. She was also named as a finalist for the Sky Sport Emerging Talent award

1.Burger King Super Smash champions!

The alignment of the men’s and women’s competitions under the Burger King Super Smash brand was an exciting move and added extra incentive for the Blaze leading in to the defence of their women’s T20 title.

The Blaze showed consistency throughout the competition and, despite a couple of losses towards the end of the round-robin fixtures, a place in the final was locked in against the Canterbury Magicians.

A tight bowling display restricted the Magicians to just 130 from their 20 overs and, at 4/120 with nine balls remaining in the chase, the Blaze looked odds on to cruise to victory and claim the first ever women’s Burger King Super Smash.

But then came the speed wobbles, the Blaze losing three quick wickets for just 7 runs, meaning they still required four off the last three balls.

Enter Jess Kerr and Suzie McDonald who calmly navigated the final three deliveries.

Kerr steered one down past gully and ran three to tie the game up and, with one run needed to win off the final ball, Suzie McDonald hit one straight and ran, Frankie Mackay missed her shy at the stumps by a matter of millimeters and the Blaze made it back-to-back T20 titles!