Otago Sparks captain Suzie Bates put her side in a
winning position with a terrific century and a fine performance
with the ball.
But, despite her best efforts, the Sparks' run chase
unravelled when she was dismissed for 104 from 110
Wellington opening batsman Renee Moffitt enjoyed the best day
of her fledgling career, thrashing a maiden century.
The 22-year-old left-hander scored 102 from 132 deliveries to
help her side post an impressive 256. Her previous best was
just 42, so it was a mighty effort.
Otago kept pace with the required run rate and was seemingly
on course for a good win but the Sparks lost Bates and Katey
Martin within an over and, with it, a lot of experience. The
runs dried up and Otago's middle and lower order crumbled
under the pressure. Wellington's Michelle Bunkall bowled
seven wides but was able to keep Otago tied down at the death
and finished with three for 37 from 10 overs.
Kylie Crowley was the last Otago batsman dismissed with the
score on 239.
While Bates was not able to celebrate her hundred with a win,
she played a cracking game. The White Ferns captain has been
in sublime nick in the one-day tournament. She has scored 502
runs in seven games at an average of more than 100. Her
innings featured 11 boundaries and her 100 came off 101
deliveries. She also had a pretty useful day with the ball,
taking three for 36 from 10 overs.
Bates batted beautifully with Sarah Tsukigawa, who added 42
from 59 deliveries in a 76-run partnership for the third
wicket. And White Ferns wicketkeeper-batsman Martin (38 from
59) added 115 runs with Bates for the fourth wicket.
Bates was caught and bowled with the score on 214 in the 41st
over. When Martin was undone five deliveries later, the
Sparks got the shakes.
''That made it pretty hard then,'' Sparks coach Warren Lees
''We were in a position where we were going all right chasing
a big score.''
All-rounder Victoria Abbott was bowled for one and rookie
Polly Inglis could not find the gaps in the field. She used
up 16 deliveries for her five runs and Caitlin Blakely scored
one from 12 before she was run out. With that, the match had
''As soon as you lose wickets, the fields change and the
bowlers become confident again,'' Lees said.
''It was a completely different game from when Katey and
Suzie were batting. They could get a run a ball easily.
''What we have to do now is pick ourselves up and come back
and try again.''
The sides meet again today and Otago badly needs to win to
stay in contention for the final.