Spirit unable to tame Heart

Star turns again from Natalie Dodd and Nicola Browne could not save the Northern Spirit from back-to-back losses to the Auckland Heart at the weekend.

Dodd made her third unbeaten century in as many one-day matches on Saturday in Auckland and the Heart found out yesterday that the best way to dismiss the in-form opener was to run her out. Dodd fell for 34 yesterday while Browne made 91 off 95 balls, as the visitors to Melville Park reached 223 for five in their sixth-round match in the national one-day women's competition.

However, the Heart reached their target with eight wickets and 6.1 overs in hand to clinch their second win in as many days. Victoria Lind (64) and Sam Curtis (61) put on 143 for the first wicket in 28.5 overs before Maddy Green (48 not out off 47 balls) and Katie Perkins (26 not out) steered them home with some ease.

On Saturday, Dodd made 108 not out from 145 balls in a tight match won by the hosts by 14 runs, to follow her two unbeaten centuries the previous weekend against the Wellington Blaze.

The 20-year-old now averages 142.67 in the one-day competition and is putting pressure on those chosen ahead of her for the White Ferns side to play four matches against Australia in the next fortnight.

Curtis made 69 and Perkins 52 on Saturday as Auckland compiled 222-5 in 50 overs, with Browne starring with the ball in taking 1-28 off 10 overs.

Dodd and Kerry-Anne Tomlinson (40) put on 99 for the first wicket in reply, but it took them 29.4 overs and the Spirit could not lift the run-rate enough to grab victory despite 29 off 25 balls from Australian import Naomi Stalenberg.

The side is now fifth in the six-team competition with four matches remaining before the final.