On December 23, the Otago Sparks took on the Canterbury Magicians in a high scoring affair. Sparks put a daunting 164 on the board, which the Magicians then chased down with nine wickets to spare.
A. Davidson-Richards opened the batting and showed her intent early. She put on a 100 run stand with skipper Katey Martin as the two took the bowlers to all parts of the ground. The partnership was finally broken by G. Sullivan when she dismissed Davidson-Richards for 80 off 52 balls. Martin though continued, finding the boundary 10 times before being run out on the last delivery for a 61 off 46 balls. Due to the efforts of Davidson-Richards and Martin, Sparks posted an imposing total of 162-4 on the board.
Kate Ebrahim, Frances Mackay and Sullivan each picked up a wicket, but today was a day for batters, as was particularly evident in the second innings.
Kirsty Nation and Mackay made light work of the total batting second. The two put on a 159 run opening stand before Nation fell just nine runs short of her century. She was bowled by Leigh Kasperek for 91 off 60 balls. Mackay then saw her side home with an unbeaten 50-ball-62. They cruised home with nine wickets remaining in the shed and eight balls to spare.
After her scintillating knock, Nation spoke to New Zealand Cricket. “It had its moments there,” she recounted. “Tough going some but I’m pretty chuffed given that we won. But, no one’s more surprised than me, to be fair.”
On chasing down the big total, Nation said, “I was aware that seemed like a big total to chase down but I knew that I can hit those boundaries and it was just sort of about finding the gaps and not getting to frustrated when I was finding the fielders. But, eventually it kicked off, Frankie and myself, which was good to see.”
The two southern teams, Sparks and Magicians took on each other. On the southern rivalrie, Nation commented, “Always love a Southern derby. Few of the girls like to give a bit of a stuff out there and I like to give it back. I think I’ll be holding this one over them for a wee while, to be fair.”
On her teams performance and their chances of winning, Nation said, “I think coming off the rounds in Lincoln, it’s good to see that our top order can do it. If we can continue this against other sides, there’s that can stop is, to be fair.”
The following match between Auckland Hearts and Wellington Blaze was abandoned without a ball bowled.
Lauren Down, from Auckland Hearts, spoke to NZC afterwards saying, “Yeah it’s a real shame to be rained out. Especially Christmas Eve at Eden Park. I know the girls were really looking forward to it. But, we’ve still got four Super Smash games to come so, we’ll have a break over Christmas and Boxing Day now and get then get back to training.”
The teams now move on to “I hope so. I’ve never played there before and I think quite a few of the girls haven’t played there either. Looking forward to getting down there and having a look. Quite a special ground so should be good.”
Hearts face Central Hinds next. On the contest that should follow, Down commented, “It should be a good game. They’ve been one of the form sides this year’s 50-over stuff so, it should be a good game. Pretty competitive so looking forward to it.”
This fixture will be take place on December 29 at Pukekura Park. That ground has smaller boundaries and when asked whether Down will look to smash some sixes their, she replied, “I hope so. I’ve never played there before and I think quite a few of the girls haven’t played there either. Looking forward to getting down there and having a look. Quite a special ground so should be good.”