Otago Sparks all-rounder Sarah Tsukigawa (left) is
congratulated by skipper Suzie Bates after taking a sharp
caught and bowled chance yesterday. Photo by Gerard
The Otago Sparks timed their run to perfection yesterday,
getting home by seven wickets against the Northern Spirit at
the University Oval.
The win by the home side, which came in the final over, was
its third of the competition but it was not quite enough to
get it into the final of the twenty/20 competition.
Canterbury was the clear winner of the round-robin part of
the competition, going through unbeaten. Wellington was four
points ahead of Otago before the final round of games
yesterday and the best Otago could do was to draw level.
Because the side from the capital had a vastly better run
rate it would have had to suffer a massive loss for Otago to
get up and pip it for second.
That did not happen as, although Wellington lost to Auckland,
it was only in the final over and not by a large enough
Otago though should be proud of its efforts in the shortest
version of the game with a good team effort getting it home
yesterday. It fielded well and bowled accurately enough.
The hero with the ball yesterday was allrounder Sarah
Tsukigawa who took four of the wickets to fall with her handy
She then batted well with Katey Martin and helped set up the
victory which occurred with four balls to spare.
Northern had started well, its two openers Anna Peterson and
Katie Tomlinson putting together a solid stand of 68 before
Peterson was well caught by Nicole Bolton, off Tsukigawa.
Tomlinson was dismissed shortly after, when Tsukigawa took a
screamer off her own bowling.
The Northern effort rather fell away then and it could score
only eight runs off the final two overs, as Bolton bowled a
tidy last over. It ended up on 125 for six.
In reply, the Otago openers put on 58 before Tsukigawa was
bowled by the final ball of the 10th over.
Martin and captain Suzie Bates continued the momentum but
they were both dismissed by Brooke Kirkbride, who bowled well
when the pressure was on.
A couple of lofty blows from Bolton helped Otago get on the
front foot and it came to the final over needing five runs to
A no-ball by Ailsha Rout with four runs needed all but gave
the game to Otago and Bolton deflected the ball for two to
give the home side victory.
The sides shift to Brooklands in Mosgiel to play two 50-over
games over the next couple of days.
Otago is right in the hunt to make the one-day final and if
it can win both games, it will be highly likely to make the