Under-15s start national tournament with 10-wicket win
Tuesday saw the start of the Cricket Express National U15 Girls Tournament in Whanganui. The Auckland team are seeking a hat-trick of wins at this tournament. This year’s team includes five players back from last year and 7 players new to the tournament.
On a very warm afternoon Auckland captain Anna Browning won the toss and elected to bowl.
Blessed with multiple bowling options, the Auckland team opened with two left-armers Breearne Illing and Isabelle O’Connell. After three tight overs, 12-year-old O’Connell dismissed Otago opener River Cunningham to have them at 8/1. Frances Jonas then trapped Page Loggenberg LBW when Otago were 19/2.
Otago consolidated to reach 57/2 after 14 overs. Bowler Issy Gerrand broke the partnership with a run-out off her follow through.
This is when Auckland started to apply the pressure. Spinners Browning (2-11) and Jonas (4-18) reduced Otago to 8-88 after 22 overs. Otago battled on for another seven overs, but finished all out for 106.
Auckland U15’s openers made a great start – Browning hit 57 off 40 balls including eight fours and one six before she retired with the team score on 99.
Shivani Unka finished on 29* and Emma Irwin on 6* when Auckland scored the winning runs in the 15th over.
Coaches Lauren Down and Arlene Kelly were delighted with the ten wicket win, particularly the number of positive contributions made across the team.
Today Auckland plays Central Districts in the morning, and Wellington in the afternoon.