ND Under-21 Women's finish fifth at Nationals
Published on 21 Dec 2018
Northern Districts Under-21 Women's have finished fifth at the National Tournament.
The women's National Under-21 Tournament plays a vital role in the development of the country's young female cricketers.
The tournament provides a stepping stone for players who are leaving school cricket behind and pushing for domestic representative honours. For many players, the tournament is the first opportunity to play against their peers from around New Zealand.
The highlight of the tournament was undoubtedly Emma Baker's 7-28, which spear-headed ND to a fantastic comeback victory against Wellington by four runs.
Below is a summary of each match from the tournament.
Central Districts U21 beat Northern Districts U21 by nine wickets
The Under-21 defending champions got off to a hiss and a roar with a bonus point nine-wicket win over Northern Districts. Sent in by Central captain Rosemary Mair, ND had a nightmare with the bat, quickly reduced to 10 for seven. Six off the team would depart for ducks by the time Central was finished with them, rolling their quarry for just 54 in 22.2 overs.
Emma Baker top-scored with just 23 in a total that was never going to be enough to challenge Central who took just 14.3 overs to knock off the target and then took the rest of the day off.
Otago U21 beat Northern Districts U21 by 2 wickets
Another low-scoring encounter saw Otago bounce back from their opening day drubbing, captain Ella Brown sending Northern Districts in and her team quickly reducing them to 3-7 - with Northern Spirit trio Olivia Lobb, Nensi Patel and Brianna Perry all gone, two of them falling victim to Kate Heffernan.
Heffernan (3-17 off nine) would return for a third wicket, with Emma Black (3-8 off 7.4) and Marina Lamplough (3-15 off eight) also having field days as they rolled ND for 106, having battled through into the 46th over.
But Otago would suffer plenty of nervous moments in the chase, their top four all departing for single figure scores. Gain departed at 21 for four in the 11th over but Ella Brown (18) and Georgina Heffernan (43) steadied the ship just enough to give Otago surety through the rest of the chase.
Despite a three-for to Northern Spirit's Tayla Hollis (3-14 off 7.1), they got there in the end with more than a dozen overs in hand.
Auckland U21 beat Northern Districts U21 by 7 wickets
Unbeaten Auckland Under 21 captain Bella Armstrong looked to continue her team's high-flying start to the tournament, sending in opponents ND who were still searching for their first points.
Despite a half century at the top from Northland's Olivia Lobb (an anchoring 55 off 121 balls), and good starts from fellow opener Holly Topp (31) and Tauranga's first drop Nensi Patel (29), ND found themselves struggling for momentum against the Auckland attack.
Lobb batted through into the 46th over, before wickets to Armstrong and Jesse Prasad, along with a runout, dampened down the death, ND restricted to 158 for six in their 50 overs.
It wasn't enough to put pressure on the tournament leaders who got off to a solid start courtesy of Auckland Heart Saachi Shahri, Sunday's centurion producing 61 at the top this time, off 74 balls.
She and Yasmeen Kareem put on a 109-run opening stand, ticking off two thirds of the required runs between them to pave the way for a comfortable win with 16.1 overs to spare.
Northern Districts U21 beat Wellington U21 by 4 runs
The tightest contest of the last day of one-day action began with Wellington skipper Beth Molony sending ND in, which had seemed a reasonable plan of attack as they restricted ND to 164 for seven. Holly Topp top-scored at first drop with an unbeaten 60, but struggled to find a partnership until a 48-run stand with Georgina Harris for the sixth wicket.
Wellington got off to a sounder start, the opening pair putting on 77, with Florence Marshall going on to top-score with 63. But although Wellington had a good start at 116 for two by the time of her dismissal, the chase was about to take a dramatic twist. Emma Baker's double strike in the 25th over turned it into 139 for four as captain Molony departed for a two-ball duck. It was as if the wheels fell off after that, Wellington losing their last seven wickets for 21 runs, ND claiming their first win at the tournament with just over nine overs to spare and Baker finishing with a sensational seven for 28 off 8.5, the best bowling performance of the championships so far.
Northern Districts Under 21s v Canterbury Under 21s
Canterbury Under 21s v Northern Districts Under 21s
Northern Districts Under 21s won by 8 runs
Northern Districts Under 21s v Auckland Under 21s