It’s one from one for the defending champs as the Action Cricket Cup got under way on Saturday. The Canterbury Magicians chased down the Auckland Hearts 189 with nine wickets in hand, thanks to an unbeaten 84 from opener Francis Mackay.
After being put into bat by the Magicians, Auckland found themselves in the precarious position of 77 for five. Kelly Anderson picked up the crucial wicket of star import Stefanie Taylor (17) and Lea Tahuhu dismissed opener Holly Huddleston (3). On the verge of a collapse, Hearts needed something special and thankfully Sam Curtis delivered just that. Curtis played a magnificent innings of 60 from 69 deliveries and found some late help from Lauren Down (17) and Saskia Bullen (10*) to get the Hearts to 189 all out in the final over.
Anderson was the chief destroyer for the Magicians, taking four key wickets for 41. R Candy was also very effective, her ten overs costing just 21 runs.
In reply the defending champs got off to the perfect start. Mackay and Mandie Godliman took their team to 103 without loss, Godliman the first to go for 37. That brought Amy Satterthwaite to the crease and it didn’t take long for the captain to find her feet. Mackay and Satterthwaite put on a partnership of 89 to win it for the Magicians. Sattethwaite hit the winning runs in the 42nd over, finishing on an unbeaten 60.
It was a dominant display by the Magicians, Auckland unable to find a weakness in the opposition batting line-up. Just one game into the competition, Canterbury looks good to reclaim their title. Auckland however, will be looking for answers and quickly.