Saachi Shahri tonned up in a big round 2 clash with Central. Image © MBUTCHER

Undefeated Auckland U21 lifts the trophy

The National Under-21 Tournament plays a vital role in the development of New Zealand's young female cricketers. All matches in 2018/19 were played side by side at Auckland's Lloyd Elsmore Park, in Pakuranga, with hosts Auckland claiming the title undefeated.

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This annual championship plays a big role in the development of national and international cricket, providing a stepping stone for players leaving school cricket behind and pushing for domestic representative honours and fringe domestic players, with young rising stars from the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield and Burger King Super Smash leading the way. For many of the youngest players, the tournament is the first opportunity to play against their peers from around New Zealand.

Image courtesy of Lisa SIMS

2018/19 TOURNAMENT TEAM

Emma Baker - Northern Districts U21

Jodie Dean - Canterbury U21

Claudia Green - Central Districts U21

Taila Hurley - Central Districts U21

Tariel Lamb - Auckland U21

Olivia Lobb - Northern Districts U21

Rosemary Mair - Central Districts U21

Josie Penfold - Auckland U21

Jesse Prasad - Auckland U21

Saachi Shahri - Auckland U21

Natasha van Tilburg - Auckland U21

Tournament Winner: Auckland Under 21s

Played Won Lost Tied No Result Abandoned Bonus Points Total Points
1 Auckland Under 21s 7 5 0 0 1 1 3 24
2 Central Districts Under 21s 7 5 1 0 0 1 3 22
3 Otago Under 21s 7 2 4 0 0 1 1 10
4 Canterbury Under 21s 7 2 4 0 0 1 1 9
5 Northern Districts Under 21s 7 2 3 0 1 1 0 9
6 Wellington Under 21s 7 1 5 0 0 1 1 6

Order in the table determined by: 1. Total Points

Most Runs

1S Shahri340
2R Mair228
3N van Tilburg160
4I James124
5O Lobb123
6=H Topp111
6=Y Kareem111
8J Dean101
9F Marshall100
10G Heffernan92

Most Wickets

1=B Herath10
1=E Baker10
1=J Penfold10
1=J Prasad10
1=T Hurley10
6=C Green9
6=G Atkinson9
8=E Black8
8=G Sullivan8
8=R Mair8

DAY SIX - final round

Auckland U21 v Northern Districts - no result. Auckland claimed the 2018/19 title undefeated.

Scorecard

Central Districts U21 beat Wellington U21 by 46 runs (DLS)

Scorecard

Otago U21 lost to Canterbury U21 by eight wickets (DLS)

Scorecard

© MBUTCHER

DAY FIVE

Auckland U21 beat Wellington U21 by 10 wickets - round five T20 - match rescheduled to afternoon, replacing Round 6 in schedule.

Scorecard

The quickest game of the tournament was one Wellington may not wish to remember. After a rained out morning, their T20 match with tournament leaders Auckland was rescheduled to the afternoon (replacing Round Six) and reduced to 18 overs a side. Auckland captain Bella Armstrong wasted no time sending in Wellington after she won the toss, and then her bowlers wasted no time in ripping through the order.

Wellington's highest individual score was just three runs as the Auckland attack combined mercilessly to dismiss them for just 17 in 9.2 overs. It was a well drilled and disciplined performance from the home side, who conceded only two extras as the four bowlers shared the spoils.

Only one result was ever likely after that total collapse and Saachi Shahri and Natasha van Tilburg took just 2.3 overs to help themselves to the points, with Wellington left to dust themselves off and pick themselves up for a better finish to the tournament tomorrow.

Back to the drawing board for Wellington. © MBUTCHER

Central Districts U21 beat Otago U21 by 7 wickets - round five T20 - match rescheduled to afternoon, replacing Round 6 in schedule.

Scorecard

No longer able to overhaul Auckland on points, defending champs Central Districts consoled themselves with a comfortable win over Otago. Otago captain Ella Brown elected to bat first but a tally of 71 for eight in the rain-reduced 18-over match wasn't enough to threaten CD, who hold second spot behind unbeaten Auckland.

Marina Lamplough. © MBUTCHER

CD made a brilliant start with the ball, the Otago top three all back in the tent before a run was on the board, Taila Hurley (3-11) striking in each of her first two overs with captain Rosemary Mair chiming in in between.

Hurley then struck again in her third over with Georgina Heffernan's wicket taking Otago to 4-6. When Monique Rees bowled Marina Lamplough it was 5-10 and hopes of a comeback were rumbled again.

Emma Black thumped 23 off 19 balls at eight, under pressure to get Otago up to some kind of score. She had help from Eden Carson (14* off 13)  but when Black was run out, Otago lost momentum and had to settle for 71 for eight off their 18.

With rainclouds gathering they might have hoped for another cloudburst but instead CD got to work chasing it down. Captain Mair carried her bat for an unbeaten 29* and with first drop Georgia Atkinson rolling a run-a-ball 21 into their 40-run second wicket stand, the chase was well under control. Mair and Claudia Green finished off the job in the 16th over.

Claudia Green helps get CD across the line. © MBUTCHER

Northern Districts U21 beat Canterbury U21 by eight runs - round five T20 - match rescheduled to afternoon, replacing Round 6 in schedule.

Scorecard

ND made a fine start to the T20 match-ups with a last-over win against Canterbury. Sent in, Olivia Lobb got them off to a flying start with 45 off 49 balls at the top. Despite losing opening partner Brianna Perry early, Lobb quickly formed a steady partnership with first drop Nensi Patel who contributed an unbeaten 36 in ND's 96 for three, in the only Round Five match to be contested over 20 overs.

Gabby Sullivan had eventually claimed both openers, but the red and blacks were in for a tough afternoon when it became their turn to bat. Instead of the solid partnership they needed to stabilise the chase, they lost regular wickets, having to scrabble towards the death.

It had been a good team effort with the ball from ND and they ended up shutting down the chase in the last over, Canterbury finishing eight down and nine runs short of their quest.

ND take a first-up T20 win over Canterbury. © MBUTCHER

***

Auckland U21 v Wellington U21 round five T20 - match abandoned without play - morning.

Otago U21 v Central Districts U21 round five T20 - match abandoned without play - morning.

Northern Districts U21 v Canterbury U21 round five T20 - match abandoned without play - morning.

Rain hit the first round of Twenty20 matches at Lloyd Elsmore Park. When weather cleared, round five matches were then rescheduled to the afternoon, replacing Round Six, in order for each team to meet each other at least once over the tournament. Round Seven will proceed as per normal schedule tomorrow.

DAY FOUR

Central Districts U21 beat Canterbury U21 by 50 runs

Defending champions Central Districts completed the one-day phase of the tournament going three from four, enough to regain the interim lead before leaders Auckland swept to victory on the adjacent ground.

CD successfully defended a low total against Canterbury, by a surprising margin of 50 runs, with a superb bowling performance that saw Georgia Atkinson on a hat-trick at drinks.

Earlier, CD's top order had struggled after having been sent in by Canterbury, things not looking promising at 49 for five.

However, Kate Gaging managed to hold on for almost an hour at six, but her vigil for 23 runs took CD only to 79 for seven. Fortunately for CD the young tail wagged, Napier's Margot Scoular slamming a quick 20 while Nelson's Claudia Green clung on for an unbeaten 27*, with Taranaki's Taila Hurley adding 17 at ten to nudge CD up to 151 for three.

© MBUTCHER

Canterbury U19 would have fancied their chances at the innings break but after a tight bowling performance, but the complexion of their chase changed rapidly as opener Emma Kench lost a stream of partners.

Kench (41 off 103 balls) put up a terrific fight to get the Canterbury 100 on the board, but by then they were eight down and Kench was about to join them back on the sidelines. All but the opening pair had been dismissed for single figure scores as Central kept the pressure on almost every over, with Atkinson's unconverted hat-trick in the 18th triggering a cascade with Canterbury 47 for four. Hurley was chipping away at the other end and ended up with three for 15, before captain Rosemary Mair followed up and struck in consecutive overs to have Canterbury seven down and still 73 runs in arrears.

When Ocean Bartlett finally removed Kench, it was all over in minutes as she grabbed two wickets in three balls to wrap up the victory 15 overs to spare.

Scorecard

Auckland U21 beat Otago U21 by 55 runs

Auckland remained unbeaten as they wrapped up a near perfect set of points from the one-dayers, with three bonus points from their four wins.

Batting first, they'd set Otago a challenging target of 252 thanks to a solid performance from their top three. Saachi Shahri again stepped up to the plate with a big score at the top, punching 72 during more than two hours at the crease as she batted into the 37th over.

Shahri put on 114 for the first wicket with Yazmeen Kareem (37) to give their side a strong platform. First drop Natasha van Tilburg then stepped in to capitalise with 72 from 80 balls, batting through until the penultimate ball of the innings. Even three wickets to Ella Black, including a big two breakthroughs in the 37th over with Shahri and Bella Armstrong departing, couldn't really get Otago in the game.

A runout in the second over of the reply didn't help their chances but a 66-run second wicket stand between Olivia Gain and Bella James helped steady things. Regular wickets would stop the chase gaining momentum, however, with Josie Penfold picking up a five-wicket bag (5-46 off 10) before Armstrong took the final wicket in the last over, the Otago side's target already well out of reach.

Scorecard

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.

Scorecard

DAY THREE

Central Districts U21 beat Wellington U21 by 91 runs

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A maiden unbeaten century from Central skipper Rosemary Mair was backed up by a devastatingly quick five-wicket bag from young Wairarapa Koru and Central Hind Georgia Atkinson as Central bounced back to grab their second win of the tournament.

Atkinson's 5-3 off just 2.2 overs (including a maiden) cut short Wellington's chase in the 44th over after Central's first-up tally of 223 proved insurmountable.

Sent in, earlier Napier Central Hind Mair entered the game in the sixth over and this time found enough support to reach three figures for the first time, the experienced young allrounder having first debuted in the tournament in 2013.

Rosemary Mair, left, played a captain's knock. IMAGE courtesy of Lisa Sims

Ashtuti provided the anchor with 46 at the top as the two layered on a 117-run stand for the third wicket after Beth Molony and Natasha Codyre had made early breakthrough for the Wellington side.

Despite losing partners after Ashtuti's dismissal and Molony's tidy work with the ball, Mair calmly saw out the 50 overs, unbeaten on 114* off 127 balls, including eight boundaries.

Kate Sims got Central's turn with the ball off to good start with a wicket in her first over, before the Wellington top order made an attempt to steady the ship.

Five wickets for Georgia Atkinson. IMAGE courtesy of Lisa Sims

However, Kate Fenton's gritty 27 off 78 balls would be the side's top score as Central kept pressure on with the ball, the required rate escalating before Atkinson's whirlwind five-for ripped out the last five wickets to leave Wellington well short, dismissed for 132.

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 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 Saachi Shahri, Sunday's centurion and the leading runscorer at this year's nationals producing 61 at the top off 74 balls.

She and Yazmeen 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.

Scorecard

Otago U21 beat Canterbury U21 by 29 runs

Otago picked up their second win of the tournament in a good battle with South Island neighbours Canterbury. Having been sent in, Otago made a steady start with a 70-run opening partnership led by Tayla Brown's 43. Brown became the second wicket to fall at 98 for two, and although the wickets kept tumbling, Otago batted out their overs as they scrapped for their 178 for seven.

Canterbury captain Emma Kench had rotated through nine bowlers, the wickets shared before she headed out for the chase, but it got off to a rocky start as she struggled for five runs off 37 balls before her dismissal.

Joy for Eden Carson. © MBUTCHER

Canterbury had already lost the services of Sarah Asmussen who was unable to bat, and stuggled for a partnership as Otago kept chipping out their wickets. Eden Carson finished with a haul of 4-38 off her 10 as the southernmost team got Canterbury down to 149 for nine to win the game with four overs in hand.

Scorecard

DAY TWO

Auckland U21 beat Central Districts U21 by 45 runs

Scorecard

A century at the top from young Auckland Heart Saachi Shahri set up what proved to be a winning total for Auckland against defending champions Central Districts. Central captain Rosemary Mair had sent in the home side at Pakuranga, both teams having come off big nine-wicket wins the day before.

Taila Hurley made the first breakthrough but Shahri, who had dominated the early strike, stuck fast, and put on a 51-run stand for the second wicket with Natasha van Tilburg. Claudia Green chipped out another Hearts rep in Bella Armstrong but it wasn't until the 28th over that Central was able to shut down Shahri, who reached her century off 110 balls, including nine boundaries.

Auckland reached 242 for six in their fifty and after rain interrupted Central's chase early, it proved a challenging total. From 31 for three Central had a rebuilding job to do and captain Mair took the rudder, anchoring through to the 47th over for her 75. She got support from Georgia Atkinson (34) at five, but just as they were in a position to lift the strike rate, Auckland cramped their style with Atkinson's wicket in the 34th over.

They had put on 84 for the fourth wicket but Auckland kept chipping out wickets as the required run rate began climbing, despite Central taking 13 off the 43rd. The last five wickets fell for just 51 runs with Jesse Prasad picking up 3-21, leaving Auckland the only unbeaten side after the second round of one-dayers.

Canterbury U21 beat Wellington U21 by 7 wickets

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Allrounder Bhagya Herath top-scored for Wellington yet again in another low-scoring game in Round Two, after Canterbury had sent Wellington in. Herath's patient 29 at four helped settle things down for her side, but her dismissal would trigger a slew of three wickets with the score parked on 87. All out in the 40th over for 108, Wellington faced a tough challenge defending that total despite a couple of early wickets, Canterbury U21 reaching their target just three down with almost 17 overs to spare.

Otago U21 beat Northern Districts U21 by 2 wickets

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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.

© MBUTCHER

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-fa to Tayla Hollis (3-14 off 7.1), they got there in the end with more than a dozen overs in hand.

DAY ONE

IMAGE courtesy of Lisa Sims

Central Districts U21 beat Northern Districts U21 by nine wickets

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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.

Auckland U21 beat Canterbury U21 by nine wickets

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New Auckland Hearts wicketkeeper Tariel Lamb was a busy person as Auckland U21 sent in Canterbury and quickly reduced them to 31 for four, Lamb taking three catches and a stumping.

© PHOTOSPORT

Canterbury never really recovered from the rocky start, with nobody scoring more than 20 as Auckland kept mowing them down, dismissing them for 108 drawn out over 48.3 overs. Twenty per cent of the innings had been maiden overs with Jesse Prasad mopping up for 3-22.

With Saachi Shahri (41*) and Yazmeen Kareem (28) putting on 75 for the first wicket, Canterbury was just never in the match.

Wellington U21 beat Otago U21 by five wickets

Scorecard

Sent in, Otago Under 21 got off to a rough start with four of their top five dismissed for single figures, including two ducks. Opener Olivia Gain and Georgina Heffernan each scrabbled together a top score of 15, Bhagya Herath taking a five-wicket bag with figures of 9-2-28-5.

After rolling Otago for just 57 inside 26 overs, Herath continued her good day with an unbeaten 19 as Wellington got home in just the 20th over, despite losing five wickets in the process.

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