Chasing 133 runs for victory, Otago were cruising towards a close finish with Millie Cowan leading the charge. But three wickets including one on the final ball in the last two overs ensured Magicians pull off a stunning victory and claim the top spot on the table.
Needing six runs in the final six balls, Mackay conceded a couple of singles in the final two deliveries before Gemma Adams in the third. Olivia Gain absorbed two dot balls leaving her to hit a boundary in the final ball. But she chipped one cheaply into the outfield to be caught by Ebrahim.
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The Sparks had a terrible start losing Polly Inglis in the third over itself. Skipper Katey Martin shared a 37-run partnership with Bella James before stitching a 42-run stand with Cowan. However, Martin edging to wicketkeeper Laura Hughes for a 36-ball 42 off Jacinta Savage turned the match around.
Savage was in action again in her next over removing Caitlin Blakely for a duck, tipped the scales in Magicians’ favour. Cowan still accelerated the innings with her decisive half-century but Sparks lost three wickets in eight balls to surrender the match.
Mackay (2/23) and Savage (2/28) took two wickets each while Lea Tahuhu finished with an extraordinary 1/10 in her four overs. Earlier, sent into bat first, Magicians lost Savage in the first ball of the match before Natalie Cox followed suit.
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The Magicians, who are assured of contesting the finals, rearranged their batting order with Ebrahim coming at no.3. She along with Amy Satterthwaite put on 60 runs for the third wicket to rebuild the ship. The momentum got hit when Magicians lost Ebrahim and Satterthwaite in successive overs to give Sparks some advantage.
Mackay (26 not out) and Kirsty Nation (13) then hit some blows towards the end to propel them to 132 for 8 in 20 overs.
Brief scores: Canterbury Magicians 132/8 in 20 overs (Amy Satterthwaite 36, Frances Mackay 26*; Sophie Oldershaw 2/20) beat Otago Sparks 129/7 in 20 overs (Millie Cowan 50, Katey Martin 42; Frances Mackay 2/23, Jacinta Savage 2/28) by three runs.