The Northern Districts U18 Girls team got their tournament in Wellington off to a fine start. Winning a 20 over game (15th January) and 50 over game (16th January) against Wellington.
After restricting Wellington to 98 in the 20 over game, a 50 run partnership between Nensi Patel and Holly Topp allowed ND to reach the total with the loss of 2 wickets in the 17th over. Patel finishing unbeaten on 45. There were a few notable performances during the bowling innings but the stand out piece of action came from Jayxena Piwari who took a spectacular one handed catch, diving catch at midwicket, and catch of the season some would say!
Day 2 saw the 50 over component of the tournament get under way. Briana Perry winning the toss and having no hesitation in sending bowling first. ND didn't have to wait long for the breakthrough as Erin Hunt took a wicket with the first ball, a caught behind for Holly Topp. Wickets fell at regular intervals with Courtney Hayes (1-11), Erin Hunt (1-14), Emma Hayes (1-15), Nensi Patel (3-15) and Emma Baker (2-8) all helping to bowl Wellington all out for 82. A 56 run partnership between Patel and Topp all but secured victory for the ND girls, Patel and Perry finishing the job off in the 24th over. Patel finishing unbeaten on 41.
Wednesday's match saw the ND girls face new opposition, Central Districts. Captain Perry won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first. The girls showed good intent, running between the wickets and batted smartly to post 232-7 after 50 overs with good contributions from Patel (60), Topp (61 not out) and Lucy Boucher (29). The weather threatened to have an effect on the game but thankfully the rain delays didn't cause for any reductions in the overs. The CD girls batted with purpose, punishing anything too full or too short for boundaries and reaching the target for the loss of 7 wickets with 3 balls remaining, a superb game of cricket! Georgina Harris and Emma Hayes bowled tight 10 over spells, Hayes (1-28) and Harris (1-38) but that wasn't enough to contain CD. Emma Baker picked up 2 late wickets to keep the game tight and Erin Hunt was the other wicket taker (1-39), the ND girls also secured 2 run outs. A tough defeat for the ND girls but definitely one that they would have learnt from and a great match to watch for the spectators.
There was no play possible on day 4 of the U18's tournament in Wellington as heavy overnight rain meant the pitches were unplayable.
The U18's finished off their week in Wellington with a 5 wicket defeat against Auckland in the 20 over final. The ND girls will be disappointed in only posting 64/9 in their 20 overs, however their fielding and bowling display to pick up 5 Auckland wickets showed the attitude that the team brought to their week of cricket. The batting line up didn't fire as it had done in previous games with the youngsters finding themselves 29-5 in no time. Lucy Boucher was the only one to reach double figures in what was an under par batting performance.
Briana Perry bowled well to pick up 3 wickets for 13 runs in her 4 over spell, delaying the inevitable victory for Auckland who chased down the runs with 6.1 overs to spare, congratulations to Auckland on a ruthless performance.
Congratulations to Nensi Patel, Holly Topp and Lucy Boucher who were all named in the team of the tournament. Nensi Patel also being awarded the Northern Districts Most Valuable Player.