NZC National Women's Under 19 Tournament
NZC High Performance Centre, Lincoln, Canterbury
10 January 2021
It was the clash of the titans on the last day of one-day action, the two unbeaten sides - Auckland and Central Districts - going head to head on Lincoln Green. The result couldn't have been much closer.
• CENTRAL DISTRICTS U19 beat AUCKLAND U19 by one wicket
A game that could have gone either way stood to decide which team took the lead into the T20 phase of the tournament.
Little had separated the two undefeated sides across the previous days - and little would today as the match went down to the penultimate ball, CD needing one run and Auckland needing one wicket.
CD had won the toss and bowled, and both sides put in a determined performance. Auckland made a patient start until Central Hinds spinner Ashtuti Kumar (3-59) - who was the sixth bowler used - almost immediately got the breakthrough at 41/1 in the 10th.
She struck again in the 15th but a substantial fightback grew between Sam Petherick (43 off 49) and opener Anna Browning (64 off 85) for the fourth. They put on 60 before Kumar had Browning caught in the 27th over at 122/4.
Wickets arrived regularly after that as CD bowled Auckland out for 198 in 41.1 overs.
That should have been advantage green, but navy blue fought hard with the ball.
Opening bowler Amie Hucker (3-40) struck in her first over, but it was first drop and keeper-batsman Sophia Kersten who anchored and held the top and middle order together in some sort of order as Auckland chipped away at the other end.
Kersten batted into the 36th over for 62 off 110 balls, CD 142/6 when she was caught off Renee MacMillan.
With Kumar already out, it was a big wicket - but newly capped Hind Ocean Bartlett had an important role to play at eight. Wickets kept disappearing until CD headed into the last over of the match needing just two runs, but with only the one in hand.
Marama Downes had the ball and dotted down with her first delivery. And her second. Her third. And her fourth. Bartlett was under real pressure now, but finally found a two to get her side across the line and take the four-point lead on the table, finishing with an unbeaten 26* off 40 balls.
• OTAGO U19 beat NORTHERN DISTRICTS U19 by one wicket
Incredibly, another one-wicket nailbiter was playing out on Lincoln No.3.
Otago won the toss and batted, reaching a solid 277/5 in their 50 overs thanks to another cracking century - 111 off 118 balls - from Olivia Gain. It was her second ton of the tournament.
Gain continued her strong tourney with 13 boundaries and formed a massive 196-run stand for the second wicket with opener Saffron Wilson, who anchored with a patient 76.
The pair batted together from the sixth to the 43rd over, when Wilson was finally caught at 211 for two.
Gain followed just four balls later, Aria Michewski (3-54) picking up both wickets, but their good work allowed Gemma Adams to come in and bash and unbeaten 42 off just 28 balls.
In reply, both Nensi Patel (52) and Georgina Harris (63) reached quick half centuries for ND and, while they didn't go on in the manner of Otago, ND strung together more partnerships.
Wickets fell in mini-clumps, however, until the last pair, including Grace Levy fresh at the crease, was left needing seven off the last over. Northern had just done a great job of taking 12 off the 49th to keep their hopes alive, albeit losing a wicket off its last ball. Now they had to keep the momentum flowing and Levy was off the mark immediately.
Crucially, Knight found the boundary and a two off the next ball saw ND get up and win the thriller with just two deliveries to spare.
• WELLINGTON U19 beat CANTERBURY U19 by 46 runs
The only livestreamed game was the only one-way street, with Wellington finally breaking its tournament egg with a big win on Bert Sutcliffe Oval.
Electing to bat, Wellington opener Antonia Hamilton gave her side a good start with a half century at the top, anchoring the innings until the 33rd over and allowing others to bat around her.
She was the third wicket to fall at 134 for three and that platform led to a good total despite Jodie Dean grabbing three wickets in five balls, putting herself on an unconverted hat-trick after stopping Hamilton.
Dean finished with an impressive 4-38 off her 10, but 47 extras would again cost Canterbury with Missy Banks and Libby Stead the chief contributors on this occasion.
Molly Dunlop top-scored for Canterbury with 35, batting at nine, which tells the story of the unsuccessful chase. The pressure steadily built, opening bowler Rachel Bryant picking up 3-50 and Kate Chandler and Bethany Trethewey a brace each before Canterbury was dismissed for 177 inside 46 overs.