The Otago Sparks celebrated a landmark day for WHITE FERN and Otago Sparks captain Katey Martin in style as the evergreen stalwart became the first player to reach 150 one-day caps for Otago.
Martin has played her entire domestic career for the Sparks — even despite being domiciled in Canterbury in recent years — and headed into Thursday’s round five Hallyburton Johnstone Shield match having scored 3,647 women's List A runs for her side at a 28.49 average, including four centuries and 21 half centuries, in addition to her 96 catches and 66 stumpings.
WHITE FERNS captain Suzie Bates, with 4236 runs (113 matches), is the only player to have scored more runs for “the Sparkies” and in Bates’s absence Martin chipped away some more at that with an innings of 82 (87 balls) in Lincoln, batting at four and top-scoring in the Sparks’ robust total of 253 for six against Northern Spirit.
She had capable assistance from fellow WHITE FERN Leigh Kasperek who produced one of her best one-day innings with an 80-ball 76 and went on to a solid all-round performance with a haul of 4-36 as the Sparks took charge of the Spirit’s chase, cruising to a 59-run victory after Kasperek managed to topple stylish first drop Sam Curtis for 40 and stop another WHITE FERN in Felicity Leydon-Davis on 34.
Martin was the Otago Sparks' player of the year last summer and the hard hitter was coming off a smashing T20 half-century against the same side yesterday with the southernmost side finally gathering together some good momentum.