Needing four runs to win off the last three balls, Wellington held their nerves to beat Canterbury by four wickets in the final of the New Zealand Cricket Women’s Super Smash Twenty20 Championship at the Eden Park Outer Oval in Auckland on Sunday (January 20).
Opting to bat first, Canterbury made 130 for 3, with Erin Bermigham remaining unbeaten on 61 off 49 balls. Rebecca Burns, Sophie Devine and Amelia Kerr made handy contributions to keep the chase on track before a minor collapse reduced Wellington to 127 for 6. JM Kerr, however, did not lose sight of the track and remained unbeaten on 7 off 5 balls to get the job done.
“I was pretty disappointed with the way we started the tournament, and then I went to the Aussie (Australia) to play the WBBL. To comeback and see the girls have done the job to get to the final, it was an honour to comeback and finish the job,” said Devine after the match. “I was disappointed that I got out and was not there in the middle (to bring victory), but was relatively calm. The girls did a good job. You can’t do much from the sidelines, rather give some energy to the girls out there and (help them) sneak home. Credit to Canterbury. They played fantastic cricket.”
Frances Mackay, the Canterbury captain, was the first wicket to fall in the match when she was run out for 11 in the fifth over. It was a big blow for her team considering she finished as the highest run-getter of the competition. She made 367 runs in ten games, way ahead of the second-placed Caitlin Gurrey of Northern Districts who had 298 runs against her name.
Devine made her first impression in the match when she had Kristy Nation caught and bowled for 6 as Canterbury were reduced to 23 for 2. Kate Broadmore and Bermingham steadied the innings with a partnership of 86 before Broadmore fell to Kerr for a run-a-ball 38 in the 18th over.
Bermingham shifted gears to add 21 runs in the last two overs, giving Canterbury a defendable total.
Wellington lost Lucy Doolan in the second over before Burns and Devine added 69 for the second wicket. Devine was run out for 31, which included a four and three sixes in the 12th over, and soon after that Burns was stumped for 41. It brought Canterbury back to the game, but Kerr’s 27-ball 28 put the chase in control.
Kerr, however, was run out and Liz Perry was bowled in a space of three balls, reducing Wellington to 122 for 5. Wellington needed eight off the final over, and they lost one more wicket but eventually the unbroken seventh-wicket pair of Kerr and Suzie McDonald got the job done.
Canterbury 130 for 3 in 20 overs (Kate Broadmore 38, Erin Bermigham 61*) lost to Wellington 131 for 6 in 20 overs (Rebecca Burns 41, Sophie Devine 31, Amelia Kerr 28) by four wickets.