Alex Moore Park hosted a double-header to launch the new season’s Premier Women league in glorious Wellington sunshine on Saturday 28 October. The opening games proved a fantastic spectacle to compliment the great off-season work done at both community and regional level to secure a viable and vibrant flagship competition.
Defending T20 champions. Hutt Districts. opened their campaign against a newly reformed and youthful Johnsonville side. Maneka Singh’s left arm medium pace gave Johnsonville a perfect start. removing both openers for single digits before Rebecce Burns led a 37-run partnership with Dani Brearton to add to a high number of extras. Zoe Wishnowsky found the edge twice in her first over only to find a vacant slips cordon before Annissa Greenlees got one past Brearton and into the stumps. Hutt’s star batter, Rebecca Burns, was eventually dismissed for 43 off 37 balls in the final overs: 13-year-old, Natasha Codyre, ending Burns’s fantastic unbeaten run of form since March 2016. Hutt reaching 125-6 with Singh finishing with 2-5 from her four overs.
In reply, Lucy Doolan opened the batting against her original home-town side, as the 29-year-old former-White Fern made her first appearance since retiring from all forms of cricket in 2013. After surviving a one-handed chance to point second-ball of the innings, Doolan was all class dispatching the bad balls through square leg and getting on top of the high bounce outside off to rotate the strike before being stumped on 51 from 27 balls. When she fell her side needed 45 off 42 balls and the game was in the balance. Dee Doughty’s leg spin brought her side back into the game, as her 4 overs went for just 4 runs. Emma Waddle held up an end to score 18* and, when Rebecca Burns caught Jess McFadyen at deep mid-wicket, Johnsonville needed 30 off 19 balls. Eimear Richardson attacked from ball one, targeting the gaps and rotating the strike. Needing 8 from the last over, a scoop over the wicket keeper found the boundary with two balls to spare, Johnsonville securing their first win in the grade in three seasons.
A newly-formed and vibrant North City side took on the experienced Wellington Collegians in the second game. A fantastic opening partnership between Anna Leigh Gillies (40) and Makaylah Mason Jones (68) made a great start for the young Northern side before Caitlin King clean bowled Gillies and a run out ended Mason-Jones great innings as Collegians toiled hard using eight bowlers, North City posting 140-3. Wellington Blaze stars, Liz Perry (70*) and Allex Evans (53*) made easy work of the chase after Kate Fenton dismissed Elizabeth Scurr in the fourth over, Collegians securing a dominant win in the 15th over.
Karori and Onslow Roll On in Ewen Chatfield Trophy
The second round of Cricket Wellington’s Ewen Chatfield Trophy was played under bright sunshine and the games delivered on the most part close contests including a thriller at Kilbirnie Park.
University headed to Kilbirnie Park with high hopes of tipping up Easts and the game hung in the balance until the last ball. Easts batted first and got through to 215-8 thanks to 45 from Jamie Gibson, 47 from Jimad Khan, and 43 off 33 from Lauchie Johns. Maulik Patel took 3-45 for University. In reply, University were on track until they lost skipper Matt Fowler for 50. Adam Leonard steadied things with 62, getting the side through to 213 and giving himself the chance to win it – needing to hit Lance Dry’s final ball for a boundary. He went for glory and was stumped to leave University 2 runs short and Easts unbeaten. As well as Dry’s 2-25. Gibson added to his innings with the bat, taking 3-33.
A far simpler victory eventuated for top-of-the-table Karori. Bowling first, Karori restricted Naenae to 142 at Naenae Park. Henry King’s 3-26 and Sam Noster’s 2-21 playing a large role in restricting the home side. Craig James making the only meaningful score for Naenae with 31. Karori were untroubled getting the total as the opening partnership of Jacob Bhula and Stephen Murdoch got them there in the 22nd over. Wellington Firebird Murdoch finished 82* with Bhula 47* at the other end.
Nairnville Park saw Onslow record their second bonus point win, defeating Upper Hutt by 6 wickets. Bowling first, Onslow quickly reduced Upper Hutt to 21-4 before some resistance from Nishant Desai (37) and Jake Imray (60) saw them make it through to 145. Dan Rose took 5-35 for Onslow with Alex Ridley chipping in with 3-30 off his 10 overs. Onslow were never really troubled in the chase as Malcolm Nofal made it 50s in successive weekends with an even 50*, while a run-a-ball 72 from Ben Shields saw the side home in the 27th over.
It was a see-sawing encounter at Linden Park where North City blew a great opportunity to grab an early season win. Defending 192 after Tommy Gordon’s 38 and James Lewis’ 32, they were in prime position with Petone 73-3 but some lower order heroics by Blake Parata (38*) and Gian Botha (48) saw Petone scrape home by 1 wicket. Brendan Smallbone took 3-32 for North City while Petone’s Sunny Chan took 3-24.
Taita bounced back from some week 1 disappointment to take a 21-run victory over Johnsonville. Taita scored 238-7 off their 50 thanks to a pair of 55s from Mitchell Scott and Chander Ravi. Johnsonville’s import, Andrew Salter, claiming 3-42. Johnsonville’s top order provided a solid foundation with Rakitha Weerasundara making 74 and Salter adding to his bowling effort with 40, but they were unable to find any fight in the lower order and were bowled out 21 runs short in the 49th over. Patrick Smith took 4-35 off 9 for the victorious Taita side.
The final result of Saturday saw Deepak Joon score his first century for new side Hutt District as they beat his old club Wellington Collegians. Joon’s unbeaten 129* and captain Troy Johnson’s 82 saw Hutt make 279-4 off their 50. Wellington Collegians never really looked like making the runs finishing 8 down and 49 runs short of the target. Matthew Stephen’s 71 was the best for Wellington Collegians.
Bonus point wins by Karori and Onslow leave them at the top while Eastern Suburbs sit back in 3rd, just one point behind. Johnsonville, University, and Collegians make up the top 6 by virtue of bonus points.