19 Jan 2020

Wellington win both T20 titles

8:07 pm on 19 January 2020
The Blaze celebrate their win during the Womens' Super Smash cricket Final.

The Wellington Blaze Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Wellington cricketers triumphed on Super Smash finals day, winning the men's and women's T20 titles.

The Wellington Blaze and the Wellington Firebirds beat their Auckland counterparts in two distinctly different finals at the Basin Reserve.

The Blaze have now won a record three consecutive domestic T20 trophies, whereas the Firebirds took the silverware for the first time in three seasons.

The Ace's celebrate Firebirds' Devon Conway being caught during the Super Smash cricket Final.

Auckland Aces' Mitchell McClenaghan, centre. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Having won the toss and elected to bowl, the Auckland Aces struck early, with Mitchell McClenaghan taking his first wicket in the second over and his second wicket in the fifth over of the match.

With his third wicket, McClenaghan removed the competition's top run-scorer, Devon Conway, for 49.

Prior to Sunday's match Conway had been averaging just under 62 with five fifties and one century in his 10 innings.

Conway's dismissal started a collapse of the Firebirds batting order, including Black Caps allrounder Jimmy Neesham who returned to the side for the final.

The Firebirds posted 168/7 but the Aces fell 22 runs short in their 20 overs.

Aces opening batsman, Black Cap Martin Guptill, held the strike for nearly three overs before his opening partner Colin Munro faced a ball.

However, once Munro did get on strike he did not last long at the crease, getting caught behind for nine runs.

Glenn Phillips and Mark Chapman were also out cheaply, before captain Craig Cachopa offered some resistance to the Firebirds attack.

Logan van Beek kept the Firebirds in the game, first removing Cachopa and then two of the heroes of Friday's elimination final, Robbie O'Donnell and Ronnie Hira, in quick succession.

Hamish Bennett, who has been recalled to the Black Caps for the five T20s against India, dismissed Guptill for 60 in his three wicket tally.

The Wellington Blaze claimed their third straight title with a win over the Auckland Hearts in a reduced-overs final.

The start of play at the Basin Reserve was delayed by more than two hours on Sunday afternoon, before the Hearts sent the Blaze in to bat in a seven over a side match.

New White Ferns captain Sophie Devine top-scored for the Blaze, smashing 54 from 22 balls as the home side reached 81/2 in their allotted overs.

Wellington Blaze's captain Sophie Devine.

Sophie Devine Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The experienced Devine then opened the bowling for the Blaze, but initially it was some of the team's youngest members who had the most impact in the field.

Jess Kerr, 22, who was named in the White Ferns for the first time this week, combined with younger sister Amelia Kerr,19, to take the Hearts' second wicket. Before Amelia enacted a run out to see the Hearts drop to 22-3.

The Hearts were in trouble when New Zealand international Leigh Kasperek took two wickets in an over to reduce the visitors to 41-5.

The Blaze won by 36 runs.

The title caps off a dominant season for the Blaze who were unbeatable, recording a perfect ten wins from ten in the round-robin stage.