The Canterbury Magicians have completed a thrilling comeback to stun the Wellington Blaze and claim the Super Smash Twenty20 title.
A hat-trick to White Ferns star Amelia Kerr had left the Magicians in tatters at 40-5 after 10 overs in chase of Wellington's 126 to win, and things looked similarly bleak at 60-6 with just 6.3 overs remaining.
However, a phenomenal partnership between Kate Ebrahim and Lea Tahuhu saw the Magicians home with two balls to spare, denying the Blaze a record fourth consecutive domestic Twenty20 title.
Ebrahim was the steadying hand with an unbeaten 45 off 40 balls but Tahuhu did the damage, blasting 38 not out off 20 balls, with her three sixes including a pivotal blast over long-off in the final over.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Needing nine to win off six balls with White Ferns spinner Leigh Kasperek bowling, Ebrahim took a single to put Tahuhu on strike, who promptly smacked a six, and two singles later Canterbury had claimed a most unlikely victory.
Earlier, Canterbury had given themselves a chance after pegging back a strong Blaze start. Sophie Devine (47 from 45 balls), Maddy Green (22 from 22) and Kerr (31 from 25) had set a solid platform, but neither at any great pace, meaning when they fell, there was limited time to lift the run rate.
From 100-1 with six overs to go they stuttered to 125-8, with the Magicians claiming three run outs and Amy Satterthwaite – the seventh bowler used – starring with 3-13 from four overs.
However, Satterthwaite couldn't produce the same performance with the bat, falling for a five-ball duck, before Kerr played what looked to be a starring role with her 10th-over hat-trick.
In the end though, it was Tahuhu and Ebrahim who walked off the Basin Reserve as the unlikely heroes.