Canterbury Magicians v Northern Spirit at Hagley Oval, Lincoln on 25 November 2017
• Canterbury Magicians one-day debut: Evelyn Jones
• Northern Spirit one-day debut: Feala Vaelua Pula (previously Auckland Hearts)
• Northern Spirit one-day debut: Regina Lili’i (previously Auckland Hearts)
• Northern Spirit one-day debut: Mereana Hyde
• One-day debut: Carolyn Esterhuizen (Northern Spirit)
Still stinging from their first-up T20 loss the evening before, the Canterbury Magicians were in for another fright in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield one-day opener, sneaking home by just a tight seven runs at home in a thriller against Northern Spirit.
Home captain Frances McKay was keen to bat and ensured her side got off to a good start, adding 46 with Amy Satterthwaite for the second wicket and then a 50-stand with Kate Ebrahim after Satterthwaite departed shortly before drinks.
The batting star of last summer’s one-day final at the same ground, former WHITE FERN Ebrahim looked sound as houses as she stormed to an unbeaten 82 off 118 balls, taking charge of the innings after McKay was run out on 41 in the 33rd over, the hosts still just three down at that point until Feala Vaelua Pula rocketed the ball to the keeper.
However, the going didn’t get any easier in the back 15 overs for Spirit as Erin Bermingham calmly settled in for a quick 44 off just 40 deliveries, punching up an 80-run stand for the fourth wicket en route to a fairly robust tally of 225 for five, Thamsyn Newton caught off the final ball of the innings.
Northern Spirit made a strong start of their own to the chase, again with the captain leading the way.
Natalie Dodd’s 74 anchored her side through to the 38th over, and, along with fellow opener Katie Gurrey (23), she sent the ball flying over the rope.
Their 63-run opening stand was backed up by a 43-run stand for the second, even if first drop Sam Curtis struggled to get going. The disciplined bowling pressure led to a double breakthrough from McKay and Bermingham, Spirit dipping from 105 for one to 105 for three in a blink, but with Dodd still there guiding the way.
Fellow former WHITE FERN Felicity Leydon-Davis joined her en route to a promising 39, but when first Dodd and then Leydon-Davis were removed, and Regina Lili’i was stopped in her tracks by Satterthwaite after a handy quick 24, the pressure went on the lower order to get up from 196 for six, 30 runs needed off the final 2.4 overs.
It was a valiant attempt, but Spirit’s courage also cost two further wickets as they finished up nine down and just seven short against the defending champions.