Wet weather didn’t allow for play yesterday, but with better conditions today Central came out firing against Otago to collect an important win in round three of the Women’s U-21 tournament in Lincoln.
Chasing 159 to win, Hannah Nesbitt played beautifully to set up a three wicket win in the 39th over for Central.
Having won the toss and put Otago into bat first Central justified their decision by restraining the southerners to a start of 52 for five. It looked like it was going to be a small total to chase, but Otago’s middle order didn’t roll over like Central had planned. Caroline Morton (28) and Kate Stiven (46) ensured that their side would have a decent score to defend as they pushed Otago through to 158 for nine.
It was a brave effort from the lower order, especially with the standard of bowling being shown from Central. Maneka Singh was the best of them, her ten overs picking up three wickets for just 15 runs.
Otago new that to have a chance of winning it was important that they got Central’s captain Nesbitt early. Indeed it did prove to be important, but they couldn’t get the talented batsman out as she made a brilliant 53 from only 48 deliveries.
She found a string of partners along the way, nearly all of which managed to make starts. It was all that would be required, Anlo van de Venter (18*) seeing Central to victory with three wickets and 11 overs to spare.
It was a brave bowling display from Otago, but Nesbitt’s half century really took the bite out of the attack. Sarah Osborne was the pick of the bowlers as she collected figures of three for 23 from 8.5 overs.