Centuries from skipper Frances Mackay and Kate Ebrahim headlined Canterbury Magicians’ resounding 91-run win over Otago Sparks in what was a record-breaking day in the opening round of the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield at Centennial Park in Oamaru on Saturday (November 21).
Mackay, who scored over 500 runs last season, picked up where she left off, clobbering 142 off 157 balls – her 13th List-A ton for Canterbury - to guide her side to a mammoth total of 321 for 4 - their highest in the competition. The right-hander shared a 240-run stand for the second wicket alongside veteran Ebrahim who marked her return with an unbeaten 106 off 109 balls. Their association, which was Canterbury's highest partnership for any wicket, carried the side from 62 for 2 in 9.5 overs, to a position of complete dominance at 302 for 3 when Mackay was dismissed in the 48th over.
The skipper’s dismissal meant Ebrahim took charge of the final 12 deliveries, helping her team collect 18 runs off them – 16 of which came off her bat. She brought up a well-deserved hundred with a boundary off the bowling of Emma Black in the penultimate over.
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In the chase, Gemma Adams and Millie Cowan got Otago off to a brisk start, collecting 41 runs off the first six over before the former was knocked over by Jacinta Savage. Cowan’s dismissal – also to Savage – soon after, brought Caitlan Blakely and Polly Inglis together. The pair shared an important 71-run stand for the third wicket, but it came at a fairly slow rate, with Canterbury’s spinners drying up the runs in the middle.
Mackay broke the partnership when she dismissed Inglis for 39, and removed Bella James soon after to reduce Otago to 144 for 4 in 31.3 overs. With the run-rate constantly on the rise, Canterbury’s bowlers never let the opposition get away, restricting them to 213 for 8 in 46 overs to complete an easy win.
Over in Pukekura Park in New Plymouth, defending champions Auckland Hearts were handed a seven-wicket thrashing by Central Hinds, courtesy a career-best haul of 4 for 20 by seamer Claudia Green. Her opening spell helped reduce Auckland to 22 for 5 in 12 overs, after which there was no chance of recovery.
Having elected to field, vice-captain Hannah Rowe got the Hinds off to the perfect start dismissing Saachi Shahri in the seventh over of the innings. Green then took charge of proceedings, knocking over Yasmeen Kareem, Bella Armstrong, Regina Lili’i and Jesse Prasad all in the space of five overs.
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Monique Rees then joined in on the party, cleaning up the lower order to finish with figures of 3 for 15, as Auckland were rolled over for 49 in just 21.1 overs - their lowest ever total in the competition.
In the chase, Natalie Dodd made sure Central Hinds got out of the blocks quickly, striking a quick-fire 17 off just 21 balls. Although Prasad’s double wicket-maiden in the seventh over may have sent a few shudders down the batting side’s spine, Jess Watkin’s unbeaten 11-ball 22 steered them home in just 7.4 overs, sealing an emphatic victory.
Elsewhere, Northern Districts snuck to a two-wicket win over hosts Wellington Blaze at the Basin Reserve.
Having been put in to bat in a rain-reduced encounter – 43 overs a side – Jess McFadyen and Rebecca Burns got Wellington off to a solid start, sharing a 73-run opening stand. It wasn’t until the introduction of Charlotte Sarsfield into the attack in the 18the over, that the visitors were able to put the brakes on the scoring. The off-spinner picked up three wickets in the middle removing Burns (39), Newton (0) and Maneka Singh (32) to help restrict the hosts to a sub-par 169 for 7 in their 43 overs.
In reply, Northern Districts kept losing wickets at regular intervals, but opener Katie Gurrey’s quick-fire 41 and Lucy Boucher’s unbeaten 36 in the lower middle-order helped them sneak over the line with two wickets and two deliveries to spare.
For Wellington, Bethany Molony was their most successful bowler with three wickets, while Xara Jetly picked up two wickets.
Canterbury Magicians 321/4 in 50 overs (Frances Mackay 142, Kate Ebrahim 106*; SR Wilson 2-49) beat Otago Sparks 213/8 in 46 overs (Caitlin Blakely 78, Polly Inglis 39; F Mackay 2-31, Jacinta Savage 2-47) by 91 runs. (DLS method).
Auckland Hearts 49 in 21.1 overs (Claudia Green 4-20, Monique Rees 3-15) lost to Central Hinds 52/3 in 7.4 overs (Jess Watkin 22*; Jesse Prasad 2-0) by seven wickets.
Wellington Blaze 169/7 in 43 overs (Rebecca Burns 39, Maneka Singh 32; Charlotte Sarsfield 3-29) lost to Northern Districts 172/8 in 42.4 overs (Katie Gurrey 41, Lucy Boucher 36; Bethany Molony 3-25, Xara Jetly 2-50) by two wickets.