By Aiden McLaughlin
Canterbury Magicians (142-6) beat Northern Brave (126-8) by 16 runs
Bay Oval hosted the first double header of Christmas week and it was the visiting captain Frankie Mackay who won the toss and decided to bat on a beautiful Mount Maunganui afternoon. It was Mackay who anchored the innings for the Magicians with 43 off 47 after opener Nat Cox was dismissed for 11 in the fourth over. Mackay shared valuable partnerships with Amy Satterthwaite (43) Lea Tahuhu (27) and Jacinta Savage (44) before finally being dismissed at the end of the 19th over with the score on 136-4. Tahuhu’s contribution of 22 was off just 9 balls as she continued her assault on opposition bowlers in this year’s competition. Brave’s reply started strongly, with openers Kate Anderson and Caitlin Gurrey putting on 63 in the first 9 overs before Gurrey fell to a run out from Mackay. Although Anderson went on to make 49 from 42 balls, her departure at the end of the 14th over saw the innings stall significantly. Only Lucy Boucher (11) was able to make double figures as wickets fell at regular intervals and faced with needing 22 from the final over, the home team were left still looking for their first win of the season.
Northern Brave (108-9) beat Canterbury Kings (107) by 1 wicket
A last ball thriller hardly seemed on the cards when the Brave bowled the visitors out for an under par 107 with a potential 16 balls remaining of their innings. Apart from Henry Nicholls (35 from 21 balls), the Kings were completely dominated by an all round bowling performance that saw Joe Walker take 3-13 off his four overs, and Trent Boult, Anurag Verma and Ish Sodhi take two wickets each. In response, opener Katene Clarke looked to get the job done early, scoring 31 off 11 balls to see the Brave reach 33 off 3.1 overs, before he was forced to retire hurt. Canterbury’s only hope seemed to be to take quick wickets, but both Todd Astle and Matt Henry slowed up the scoring rate, with identical figures of 1-8 off four overs. At 81-4 after 14.3 overs, 27 runs from 33 balls was comfortable, but they would end up needing 8 to win from a dramatic last over. Ed Nuttall took 3 wickets in the first 4 balls and suddenly the Brave were 9 down, with 7 required off the last two balls. By this time, Clarke had put his pads back on and he was joined in the middle by Trent Boult. With a single taken off the penultimate ball, the equation was simple and up stepped Boult. Nuttall, despite being taken to task by Clarke early in the innings, had the chance to be the hero, but instead it was Boult who took on that role, smashing the ball over the boundary to win the game for the home side, in the most dramatic encounter of the season so far.
Wellington Blaze (143-5) beat Auckland Hearts (103-8) by 40 runs
The formula for the Blaze his season has been simple; bat first, set a challenging target of 140+ and let the bowers exert pressure. It saw them record wins so far of 44, 45 & 65 runs, so when the home captain Maddy Green won the toss at the Basin Reserve and decided to bat, the Hearts knew it was likely to be an uphill battle. The first three partnerships of 42, 41 & 28 got them to 111-3 at the end of the 16th over. Opener Rebecca Burns and Amelia Kerr both hit 42 and yet again the Blaze had cracked the 140 mark. Jess Kerr, who had earlier scored 11 off 7, then took over with the ball, racking up the first four wickets of the Hearts response to leave them in a desperate position on 24-4 off 5.2 overs; Kerr would finish with a remarkable 4-13 off her four overs. Despite a gutsy effort further down the order from Bella Armstrong (31) and Arlene Kelly (25), the required run rate was never really likely and the Blaze maintained their 100% record in the competition.
Auckland Aces (134-9) beat Wellington Firebirds (121-8) by 13 runs
The last match before Christmas saw Auckland captain Robbie O’Donnell win the toss and choose to make first use of the same wicket that the Blaze and Hearts had played on. Although Martin Guptill fell in the first over for just 4, a second wicket partnership of 57 between George Worker and Mark Chapman wrestled some momentum back, before Worker was out to the bowling of Ben Sears at the end of the eighth over. Sears would also take the wicket of O’Donnell and Ben Horne in his figures of 3-22 from four overs. Chapman made 55 off 48 balls and in doing so, recorded his twelfth T20 half century. Ben Lister took the prized wicket of Finn Allen off the second ball of the Firebirds reply and Logan van Beek departed just four balls later; in his second over, Lister dismissed Tim Robinson to leave Wellington 10-3 off 2.2 overs. Lister would go on to take 3-27 off his four overs. Home captain Michael Bracewell was the shining light for the Firebirds, ending on 58 not out off 46 balls, but he simply didn’t have the support to get over the finishing line as highly touted legspinner Adithya Ashok showed his class with 3-8 off his four overs to rip away their chances.
Otago Sparks (136-5) beat Canterbury Magicians (124) by 12 runs
The Boxing Day double header at Hagley Oval began with Sparks skipper Suzie Bates winning the toss and batting as her side aimed to make it five wins from five in this season’s competition. Bates and fellow opener Polly Inglis put on a first wicket stand of 36 before Inglis was the first to depart in the sixth over. That brought Katey Martin to the middle and she and Bates put on 70 for the second wicket. Bates would end up with 47 off 48 balls and Martin made 38 from 32 balls. Missy Banks took 3-22 for the home side while captain Frankie Mackay bowled an economical spell, with just 16 runs coming from her four overs. Openers Amy Satterthwaite (23 from 19) and Nat Cox (37 from 36) made the most significant contributions for the Magicians but Eden Carson in particular bowled a beautiful spell to take 3-17 in her allocated overs. As the required run rate began to grow, the Magicians slumped from 94-5 off 15.1 overs to 124 all out with two balls remaining to see the Volts continue their winning ways.
Canterbury Kings (173-6) beat Otago Volts (137-8) by 36 runs
After the disappointment of the last ball defeat to the Northern Brave earlier in the week, the Kings were determined to get back to winning ways against a Volts side who were also beaten last time out, against the Central Stags. Canterbury captain Cole McConchie won the toss and decided to bat. Chad Bowes and Ken McClure took them through to 75 before McClure was dismissed by Michael Rippon at the start of the ninth over. Henry Nicholls kept up the momentum as he and Bowes put on 37, before the opener was dismissed for 50. Nicholls received support from Matt Henry who hit a blistering 23 from just 9 deliveries as Nicholls finished not out on 49. In response, and despite Volts captain Hamish Rutherford making 62 from 48 balls from the top of the order, the biggest partnership they could put together was 33. With the wickets falling regularly (Henry, Henry Shipley and Todd Astle taking two wickets each), the required run rate quickly began to get of of hand and Otago were well adrift by the end of their 20 overs.
Week 6 Fixtures
Monday 27th December (Fitzherbert Park)
11.10am – Central Hinds v Auckland Hearts
2.40pm – Central Stags v Auckland Aces
Tuesday 28th December (John Davies Oval)
11.10am – Otago Sparks v Wellington Blaze
2.40pm – Otago Volts v Wellington Firebirds
Wednesday 29th December (John Davies Oval)
11.10am – Otago Sparks v Auckland Hearts
2.40pm – Otago Volts v Auckland Aces
Thursday 30th December (Pukekura Park)
11.10am – Central Hinds v Northern Brave
2.40pm – Central Stags v Northern Brave
Friday 31st December (Pukekura Park)
11.10am – Central Hinds v Canterbury Magicians
2.40pm – Central Stags v Canterbury Kings
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