Images: PHOTOSPORT

Auckland lifts its first U19 Women's crown

NZC National Women's Under 19 Tournament

NZC High Performance Centre, Lincoln, Canterbury

12 January 2021

T20

SCORES

The 2020/21 title was on the line in this top of the table T20 between Auckland and defending champions Central Districts, who held a slim one-point lead heading into the final game.

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Auckland has got up and claimed the NZC National Under 19 Tournament honours for 2020/21 after pipping CD at the post in Lincoln today.

Auckland Under 19 captain Amie Hucker won the toss and sent CD U19 in on Lincoln Green, and her side made a tight start with the ball in a good day’s fielding performance.

CD anchor Jess Hollard (below; PHOTOSPORT) found a solitary boundary off Breearne Illing’s opening over, but it was the only boundary conceded in the first nine overs as Auckland hit their marks early.

CD meanwhile kept wickets intact and when Sam Petherick came on in the 10th and conceded a trio of wides as she tried to find her line, Hollard pounced, and hit the next two balls to the rope.

Twelve off the over was a timely boost for CD who had been just 29/0 after nine. It triggered a lift in tempo, 10 more gleaned from the 11th as Emma McLeod (17 off 42) found her first four off Renee MacMillan.

The opening stand reached 69 until a big triple strike in the 14th saw Anna Browning take three wickets in four balls, in her second over, putting herself on a hat-trick after new Central Hind Ocean Bartlett was caught first ball.

Aniela Apperley came to the crease, Hollard on strike on 39* and averting the hat-trick with a bye.

At the three-quarters mark, CD was still well positioned to attack at the death from 79/3, but Browning struck yet again in her next over with Apperley in the 16th. Fran Jonas made it 87/5 in the next, the big wicket of Hollard, trapped after a vital 45-ball 42 for her side.

CD batted deep, and Auckland needed to keep the pressure on at the death. Hearts spinner Jonas (1-13) did an excellent job of that with just four runs coming off her 17th. Browning then nailed her five-wicket bag next ball, bowling Liv Clark to sit on figures of 5-15 in her final over.

CD needed a big finish now from Sam Mackinder and Ashtuti Kumar who was off the mark immediately. They rotated the strike, but just five came off another good set from exciting allrounder Browning who finished with a fine 5-20.

Mackinder (11 off 12) found the rope in the 19th to push CD past 100, but Marama Downes struck back next ball - running her out off a good throw from her captain.

Hucker (1-9) took the ball herself for the last and immediately bowled Sophia Kersten, CD now eight down. El Cohr quickly turned the strike over to Kumar, CD finishing on 108 for eight. It was game on!

Apperley opened the bowling for CD and kept it tight with just a single conceded, but Kumar’s first saw Auckland skim 10 runs, including three no balls.

Apperley kept the pressure on however, before first change El Kohr struck with opening delivery, Emma Irwin caught by Kumar at the start of the fourth: 15/1.

Apperley bowled her four up front for a well deserved wicket in her final oval, finishing with a tight 1-10.

It was exactly what the CD side had needed but dangerous Anna Browning remained at the crease, joined now by Kate Irwin.

Jess Ogden came on in the ninth, and she, too, picked up a wicket with her first delivery, bowling the remaining Irwin. Auckland was 41/3 now, needing 5.75 per over but still with plenty of wickets in hand.

Sam Petherick found the boundary off each of her first three overs in the middle to claw Auckland into a good position at the halfway mark.

Runs began to flow as CD struggled to contain the pair through the middle stages, but captain Ocean Bartlett’s entry into the attack produced the breakthrough with Petherick caught and bowled after her bright 13-ball 18.

Bartlett then struck another huge blow with Marama Downes gone first ball: on a hat-trick at 72/5 in the 13th. Just three runs from the over, Hucker now joining Browning.

A no ball that went to the rope helped their cause in the 14th, 11 off the over: now the equation shifted in their favour and they needed 25 off 37.

Captain Hucker and Browning made the big statement in the 15th, peeling 13 runs off Bartlett’s second, Hucker finishing it off with the first six of the game.

Now the ball was firmly in Auckland’s court, and even a tight follow-up from both Flora Devonshire (2-7) and Bartlett (2-21) couldn’t stop them.

Devonshire had Hucker (21 off 17) caught at the start of the 18th, then put herself on a hat-trick with Emily Thurman caught next ball. But by then just two runs were needed for an Auckland victory, and she followed up with a wide that levelled the scores in an otherwise impressive death over.

Unbeaten Browning (36 not out off 47 balls) fittingly capped it off for Auckland, finding a single off the last ball for a three-wicket win.

Auckland becomes just the second team to lift the title after the inaugural tournament last season, while deposed CD had finished runners-up after a strong one-day tournament, but no chocolates in the three T20s.

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