HEARTS ready for home Preliminary Final
Head Coach Nick White has named a 14-strong Auckland HEARTS squad to take on the Otago Sparks in their Dream11 Super Smash Preliminary Final at Eden Park Outer Oval on Thursday.
It has been more than a month since the HEARTS twice met the Sparks during the opening week of the competition and Holly Huddleston knows the Otago side will provide a different challenge this time around.
"Amanda-Jade Wellington has been a major addition for the Sparks, in terms of bringing stability through the middle with the bat and ball, so we'll need to be aware of her skills."
Skipper Anna Peterson echoed Huddleston's warning to the HEARTS.
"Even though we beat them twice in pool play, we can't take them lightly. They are in the midst of a good run of wins and their confidence will be high."
Huddleston said the side got a lot out of the last match against the Wellington Blaze.
"It was a good opportunity to test a few different things out with little on the line."
The HEARTS have the tournament's leading run-scorer in Katie Perkins, with 477 runs, and Peterson knows how important Perkins is to the side's batting fortunes.
"Katie has been the glue that has held the HEARTS batting together and her temperament at the crease has meant others have been able to go out there and play their own games."
Peterson said the HEARTS are looking forward to finishing their home Super Smash campaign on a high.
"For us, more than anything, it is another chance to play in front of our home crowd."
Auckland HEARTS vs. Otago Sparks
Thursday 16 January
Eden Park Outer Oval
HEARTS Squad | Dream11 Super
Smash vs. Otago Sparks
Anna Peterson (c)
Natasha van Tilburg