Wellington produced another challenging morning for the the Auckland Under-18 Girls’ team yesterday with strong southerly winds blowing through Karori Park.
Their first match against Central Districts found Auckland batting first. A 54-run opening stand in the first eight overs between Anna Browning (21) and Prue Catton (34) was a good way to start the match.
However, CD put the clamps on the middle of Auckland’s innings. As Auckland tried to up the pace, they lost Sam Petherick and Skye Bowden in the middle of the innings which brought wicket keeper Izzy Gaze and Gemma Adams to the crease.
Both produced strike rates of more than 100 to get Auckland to 123/4 at the end of 20 overs. Gaze finished not out on 20 off 16 balls.
While Auckland couldn’t snag a wicket until the eighth over of the CD chase, they also only conceded 22 runs from those overs. Opening bowler Amie Hucker was miserly, giving up just three runs from three overs.
CD tried to increase their run rate but the Auckland sides fielding and bowling remained strong. Central Districts couldn’t manage more than four an over, finishing at 83/4. Auckland picked up their second win of the tournament by 40 runs.
The afternoon game matched Auckland up against Northern Districts, whom had beaten Wellington by two wickets earlier in the day.
Bowling first Auckland continued their dominant display with ball in hand. Overall they restricted ND to 81/6 from 20. Eight bowlers were used and all produced economical spells. Hucker again starred, picking up 3-11. Spinners Emily Thurman and Alyssa Bowden also took a wicket each.
While openers Browning (26) and Catton (15) again batted through 9 overs before Auckland lost a wicket, the run rate was edgy. Skye Bowden was promoted to first drop and duly hit 27 off 21.
Auckland notched up another convincing victory by eight wickets.
Central Districts beat Otago by 30 runs on the adjacent pitch, meaning Auckland were the only unbeaten side going into day four. This morning they play hosts Wellington, before a bye in the afternoon.