Wellington, Canterbury and Auckland all picked up wins on day one of the 2012-13 National Under 21 tournament at the New Zealand High Performance Centre in Lincoln.
The individual performance of the day came from Lauren Down, with the 17 year-old making an unbeaten 134 to help her Auckland side to a 38 run win over Central Districts.
In the other two games Canterbury toppled southern rivals Otago by 54 runs, while Wellington proved too good for Northern Districts with a 63 run win.
Round two kicks off tomorrow from 10:00am, with all matches live-scored on www.blackcaps.co.nz.
Auckland v Central Districts
Auckland began their title defense with a comfortable 38 run victory over Central, largely thanks to a brilliant knock of 134 not out from Lauren Down.
Her efforts saw Auckland to an overall total of 240 for five from their 50 overs. In reply Central’s batsmen were able to make a number of starts, but the substantial partnership required wasn’t forthcoming and they were held to 202 for eight.
Six of the top seven made double digits in the pursuit, but the bulk of the work was left down to opener Sarah Cowan (45) and Kelly Rangi (67).
Cowan saw three partners come and go, before she herself was dismissed with her side four short of 100. Rangi took over the anchor role, but was unable to grab the momentum as wickets tumbled at the other end.
After 50 overs Rangi remained having made 67 from 54 balls, but was unable to truly challenge Auckland’s target.
Lauren Down added two wickets to her fine day and finished with figures of two for 37 from eight overs.
Earlier, she had shown brilliant form with the bat to bring up the first century of the tournament.
Having lost two wickets for just four runs, Auckland then began to rebuild through Arlene Kelly and Down. Together the pair put on 154 for the third wicket, before Kelly fell for 55 in the 40th over.
Down continued to accumulate though and after 135 balls brought up triple digits. She added another 34 before the 50 overs was up, hitting 16 fours overall.
Both Kate Baxter and Sarah Cowan picked up two wickets each for Central, while Hannah Rowe also added one wicket.
Wellington v Northern Districts
Wellington cruised to a 63 run victory over Northern Districts in their first match, having posted an imposing 264 for three in the first innings.
Suzie McDonald made 96 and Leigh Kasperek an unbeaten 78 as Wellington set a big total. In reply Northern were unable to seize the momentum at any stage and were restricted 201 for six at the end of their 50 overs.
Opener Katie Johnson was the key behind Northern’s pursuit, making 73 before being caught in the 35th over.
Her dismissal reduced Northern to 122 for three and they were unable to recover. A number of starts gave them a glimmer of hope, but the asking run-rate was too high.
A seventh wicket partnership of 66 between Moana McLelland (28*) and Kate Anderson (29*) kept the score line respectable, but it wouldn’t be enough.
Thamsyn Newton was lethal in her three overs for ten runs, picking up two key wickets.
Earlier, wickets had been tough to come by for Northern, despite getting off to a strong start by dispatching Rebecca Burns for two.
Hannah Lee Harwood (29) and McDonald took their side past the 100 market for the second wicket, until Lee Harwood was run out in the 31st over.
McDonald then combined with Kapserek and together they carried their side to a big score. McDonald looked likely to bring up her 100, but was dismissed four short with 13 balls to go.
Kasperek put on the finishing touches to ensure her side made it past the 250 mark and gave Wellington a very defendable total.
Canterbury v Otago
The host side got off to a winning start, beating Otago by 52 runs in their first match of the tournament.
Behind a well-made 90 from Hayley Jensen, Canterbury were able to post 248 for eight from their 50 overs. It proved to be enough, as they managed to keep their southern rivals to 198 for nine.
Sarah Osborne was the key to Otago’s pursuit, leading the way with 64 from 90 deliveries. Her composed innings was not replicated by her team mates though, as Canterbury successfully attacked the other end.
Four other players made start, but no-one stuck around long enough to threaten Canterbury’s total.
Courtney Buckman was the chief wicket-taker and finished with figures of four for 25 from seven overs.
Canterbury’s top-order on the other hand had set up a handy platform to build a big score.
Lev Hughes (42) and Hayley Banks (31) took Wellington to 70 without loss after 17 overs, before Banks was bowled by Osborne.
The respite was brief for Otago though, with Jensen coming in and playing aggressively from the outset.
Alongside numerous partners she saw her side past 200, before falling ten runs short of her century. Hannah Mauafu (34*) finished strongly for Canterbury though and got them to within two of 250.
Mandy McDonald was the biggest threat with the ball for Otago and claimed figures of four for 40 from nine overs.
Central Districts 0
Northern Districts 0
Round two draw:
Auckland v Otago
Canterbury v Wellington
Northern Districts v Central Districts