Blaze scorches Sparks in record win

Defending champion Wellington Blaze has become the first team to qualify for the 2020/21 Dream11 Super Smash Finals, and they did it in record style at the Basin.

Blaze won again against the Otago Sparks by a colossal 122 runs (DLS), their largest margin of runs victory yet in Dream11 Super Smash cricket.

It went well for the hosts from the outset, winning the toss and batting first to allow Sophie Devine to slaughter a quick 80 off 44 balls at the top.

Devine produced further evidence of being in a class of her own as she lofted three sixes and pelted seven fours, blasting her way all the way to the 15th before the little spellbinder Eden Carson had the powerhouse caught, no doubt stopping an imminent century.

Devine had combined with kindred spirit Melie Kerr in an aggressive century second-wicket stand worth 110 runs, just five runs shy of a Wellington second-wicket record.

Kerr continued the assault in an all-star top order with Leigh Kasperek (20*), and reached 66 off just 43 herself, hitting nine fours until she fell in the penultimate over.

The destruction had seen Blaze post a hefty 196 for five, their second highest ever total in the league - below only their 201/5 last summer at the Mount.

Languishing at the opposite end of the table, the Sparks were always go hard or go home, but ran into Xara Jetly in her best wicket-taking form.

Nineteen-year-old Jetly was the sixth bowler utilised, after Maneka Singh had snared both openers while Kasperek had stopped fellow WHITE FERN Katey Martin early for the Sparks to be 59/3 nearing the midway mark.

Jetly - whose previous best was just 1-9, for two career wickets - ripped through the middle order for an impressive new PB of 4-9 off her three overs, three of those wickets falling in her lethal 11th.

The stage was set for Thamsyn Newton to wrap it up with the last three wickets, the Sparks rolled for just 74 in the 16th to leave their own hopes hanging by a thread.

Article added: Monday 25 January 2021