Otago Daily Times

Devine, Jetly dominant as Blaze pummels Sparks by 122 runs


IT was always going to be a tough task.

In the end the Wellington Blaze side was just too classy.

The Super Smash leader put on a dominant display to beat the Otago Sparks by 122 runs at the Basin Reserve yesterday.

Sophie Devine smashed 80 as the Blaze amassed 196 for five in its innings, leaving the Sparks a huge target to chase against a quality bowling lineup.

It was a target the Sparks never got close to.

Young Blaze spinner Xara Jetly took four for nine, triggering a collapse which left the Sparks all out for 74 off 15.2 overs.

The loss leaves the Sparks on eight points at the bottom of the table.

Otago was without key allrounder Hayley Jensen, who withdrew from the side on Saturday night after picking up a knee injury at training.

Wellington openers Devine and Maddy Green took full advantage of her absence.

The duo found the boundary with ease, particular­ly cutting through the offside, to put on 34 runs off the first three overs.

Three dot balls from Emma Black to open the fourth over finally created some pressure.

They left Green attempting to scamper for a quick single, but she was run out for 14 after a direct hit from Millie Cowan fielding at midoff.

A 110run partnershi­p followed as Amelia Kerr joined Devine at the crease.

They limited the dot balls, and found the boundary rope once or twice an over.

After the pair reached 100 in the 12th over they began looking to accelerate.

Chances began presenting themselves and after two dropped catches, the Sparks finally broke the partnershi­p.

Devine topedged one from spinner Eden Carson, Olivia Gain taking the catch to dismiss her for a quality 80 off 44 balls.

Kerr continued to inflict damage, as did new batter Leigh Kasperek, before spinner Sophie Oldershaw claimed two wickets in as many balls.

She dismissed Kerr for 66 off 43 balls before claiming Thamsyn Newton for a golden duck.

Oldershaw was the pick of the Otago bowlers, taking two wickets for 24 runs off her four overs.

In the quest for runs the Sparks lost two early wickets, including the key one of Katey Martin for seven.

Polly Inglis and Caitlin Blakely put on 34 runs for the third wicket at around a run a ball.

But Inglis was bowled for 24 by Maneka Singh with the side at 59, triggering a collapse the following over.

Jetly took three wickets off her first five balls to remove the Sparks middleorde­r.

She left the side reeling at 63 for six, before taking another wicket in her next over.

From there, Newton cleaned up the tail to finish with three for 14.

The Sparks next play the Canterbury Magicians on Saturday at Hagley Oval.

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