Sophie Devine leads by example

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 05:00 26/11/2012

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Two match-winning performances out of three represented a handy start to Sophie Devine's Wellington Blaze captaincy stint at Karori Park at the weekend.

The New Zealand all-rounder cracked an unbeaten 71 off 45 balls in their Twenty20 defeat of the Central Hinds on Friday, before hitting out again yesterday with her maiden century, 108 off 62 balls as they beat the Hinds by four wickets in the second 50-over match.

It represented a big turnaround for the Blaze after the visitors skittled them for 79 in Saturday's match, with Devine dismissed for two, as the Hinds won by 147 runs.

Yesterday, Devine put things right for her team as they pursued Central's total of 218-4. Former international Sara McGlashan led the way with 85 in a competitive score. But it became a no-contest as Devine cracked 11 fours and six sixes after Lucy Doolan (44) gave Wellington a solid start. The Blaze got home in the 42nd over.

On Saturday, captain Rachel Priest top-scored with 65 as Central posted 226-4 off their 50 overs.

Three run-outs punctuated Wellington's woeful reply as Hannah Rowe took 3-28 and extras topscored with 23.

Defending champions Auckland were the only side to open with back-to-back wins, against Otago. Canterbury and Northern had one win apiece in their double-header in Whangarei.

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- The Dominion Post

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