Canterbury won their final Twenty20 match of the National Women’s Under 21 tournament in Lincoln to remain unbeaten and finish well clear of the rest of the field on 25 points.
Having been guaranteed the title yesterday, the hosts still found the motivation to defeat last year’s champions Auckland by six wickets. It put them six points clear of their closest challengers Wellington, who also finished positively with a 30 run win over Central Districts.
In the other game of the last round, Otago had their first success of the tournament when they beat Northern Districts by five wickets.
The Trish McKelvey Trophy, which goes to the Player of the Tournament as voted by the coaches, went to Canterbury’s Hayley Jensen. Over four innings Jensen accumulated 170 runs and finished with an average of 56.66.
Canterbury v Auckland
Having held Auckland to 91 for nine in the first innings, Canterbury surpassed the total with four balls in hand to claim a six wicket victory.
Three players made 20 or more in the pursuit, with Hayley Jensen top scoring with 24. Courtney Buckman chipped in with 22, before Jacinta Savage saw out the match with an unbeaten 20.
Alex Eastwood was the best of the Auckland bowlers, taking two wickets in her four overs for 17 runs.
Her side had earlier been unable to establish a big partnership, as Canterbury took regular wickets.
Arlene Kelly (16), Francesca Wilkinson (17) and Nikita Parshotham (17) were the only players to make double digits, but benefitted from eight extras.
It was a team effort with the ball, with four players taking two wickets each. Of those, Hannah Malloch was the most economical with her four overs going for just 12.
Wellington v Central Districts
Wellington secured second place with a 30 run win over Central Districts, having made 131 for five in their first 20 overs.
In reply Central were dismissed for 118 after 18.5 overs. Openers Sonya Thompson (10) and Anlo de Venter (16) got them off to a good start, but they were unable to maintain the momentum as Wellington made breakthroughs at crucial times.
Sarah Cowan top scored with 22, but following her run out no one was able to make double figures.
Earlier the pairing of Suzie McDonald and Leigh Kasperek once again flourished, putting on 72 for the third wicket.
Kasperek was the first to go for 33, but McDonald maintained the momentum and was the overall top scorer for the round with 59.
The duos effort allowed their side to pass the 130 mark – the only side to do so in the Twenty20 round.
Kelly Rangi put in a valiant attempt with the ball and took three for 25 from her four overs.
Otago v Northern Districts
Otago bet Northern Districts by five wickets in their final round Twenty20 match, successfully chasing down Northern’s first-innings total of 97 with three balls remaining.
Sarah Cowan was the catalyst behind Otago’s run chase, making an unbeaten 40 from 57 balls. Cameos of 12 from Polly Inglis and Millie Cowan were another factor in their success, as the southerners won with five wickets in hand.
Two run-outs hampered Otago, while three of Northern’s bowlers took a wicket apiece.
Earlier, Otago had fought back with the ball after Northern got off to a strong start.
Kate Anderson (34) and Brooke Halliday (25) put on 58 for the second wicket, but were unable to take advantage of the platform they’d built, as a string of wickets slowed the run-rate.
At the end of their 20 overs they were three short of 100 and six wickets down.
Mandy McDonald took two wickets in her four overs for 17, while Kate Stiven had just 13 runs taken from her full compliment.
Central Districts 7
Northern Districts 6