CANTERBURY MAGICIANS defeated the CENTRAL HINDS
by 7 wickets at Hagley Oval
9 December 2018
It went down to the final five balls but the Central Hinds would suffer their first loss of the competition as the Magicians bounced back in Christchurch.
Round six of the 10-round race for Grand Final qualification had seen the Hinds coming in neck and neck with the Auckland Hearts, the two teams with a big gap on the rest of the field, and the Hinds ahead by a nose on net run rate.
The berths were not yet locked in however: plenty to play for, then, as they looked to remain unbeaten as the back half of the comp began.
Unfazed by having been sent in at Hagley, Natalie Dodd and Emily Cunningham got the competition leaders off to a good start. Dodd dominated the early strike with the pair on the cusp of a 50-stand for the opening wicket when Hayley Jensen had a big breakthrough, Dodd caught after her 36 at better than run a ball.
Captain Anlo van Deventer got off the mark next ball with a boundary before the young Cunningham began plundering four of her own off WHITE FERN Jensen and rookie Sarah Asmussen.
The arrival of Mags captain Frances Mackay at the bowling crease put the breaks on, the off-spinner conceding just two runs off her first three overs to hold the Hinds to 94 for one at drinks.
Cunningham got the Hinds hundred on the board shortly after off 118 balls, the pair having already clocked up a 50-stand for the second wicket off just 54 balls, despite Mackay’s parsimony. Cunningham's previous best from nine matches was an unbeaten 45.
Just as it looked to be her day, however, Gabby Sullivan made the second breakthrough, trapping the opener on 37. Powerhouse Jess Watkin joined her captain in the 22nd over at 103 for two.
By the 30-over mark they had reached 139/2, the demanding Mackay conceding just 17 from her seven-over spell through the middle before WHITE FERN Kate Ebrahim came into the attack to try to keep the pressure on with leggie Erin Bermingham.
It didn’t go to plan, van Deventer pummelling a boundary to raise the 150 a few balls later, but there was a massive bonus for the Mags when keeper Mackay ran out Jess Watkin next ball.
Van Deventer, on 42*, was now joined by Kerry Tomlinson who brought in good form.
Van Deventer reached her half century off 61 balls, but lost Tomlinson next over, caught off Jess Simmons for just 16 to bring Hannah Rowe to the crease at second drinks, the Hinds 182 for four and needing to maintain their momentum.
But Simmons struck again in her next over, removing the dangerous Rowe lbw for no score. Rosemary Mair now joined van Deventer on 56* as the Magicians sensed a good opportunity to shut the Hinds down for once this season. They struck again, Mair soon falling to Jensen in a wicket maiden, eight overs left to bat for the Hinds but now with just four wickets in hand.
The onus for impetus fell to the captain and her opposite number Mackay brought herself back into the attack to maximise the pressure. Esther Lanser was run out, but van Deventer kept up the attack as she cruised past her previous one-day best of 80 to post a maiden one-day century, in her 51st match, finishing unbeaten on 100* off 99 balls (12 x 4).
Kate Baxter was run out going for a second run off the final ball of the innings to get the Hinds up to 251 for eight, meaning the Mags would need five an over.
Rowe removed opener Kirsty Nation for no score, but Mackay was in no mood to let the Hinds take another win at Hagley. She powered on a 184-run stand for the second wicket with Ebrahim, who batted through into the 40th over before the WHITE FERN was finally caught and bowled by Kate Baxter on 74.
Mackay kept going, extending her new Canterbury Magicians centuries record with yet another ton. The Mags skipper would fall on 140 in the 46th over, giving the Hinds a last breath of hope in a tight chase. But with the experienced pair of Bermingham and Jensen in the middle, the Magicians went into the last over with the scores tied, and despite a dot ball to keep everyone on their toes, duly completed the honours.
The Auckland Hearts meanwhile had won in Dunedin: the competition had a new frontrunner.