Cricket: Sparks' chance of making final slight

Suzie Bates (Otago) bowls to Northern Districts batsman Natalie Dodd while Kerry Tomlinson and umpire Johan Fourie watch at the bowler's end at Brooklands, in Mosgiel, yesterday. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Suzie Bates (Otago) bowls to Northern Districts batsman Natalie Dodd while Kerry Tomlinson and umpire Johan Fourie watch at the bowler's end at Brooklands, in Mosgiel, yesterday. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Heavy rain in Dunedin yesterday has made it difficult for Otago Sparks to make the women's one-day cricket final against Auckland.

Otago was hoping to get four points against Northern Districts at Brooklands. But that opportunity was washed away when umpires called it quits at 4.10pm after heavy rain flooded the ground.

At that stage, Northern Districts had scored 39 without loss after 15.2 overs, with Natalie Dodd on 12 and Kerry Tomlinson on 16.

The sides shared the points and meet again today in the second leg of the double-header, starting at Brooklands at 10am.

Auckland leads the competition with 34 points after a comfortable win against Wellington. It is followed by Canterbury 21, Otago 20, Wellington 18, Northern Districts 15 and Central Districts 9.

The final is a straight 1 v 2, so Auckland is guaranteed to be the host. If they are to qualify, the Sparks must beat Northern today, and hope Central can conjure a miracle against Canterbury.

Yesterday, Canterbury compiled 259 for seven against Central, with New Zealand representatives Janet Brehaut and Amy Satterthwaite sharing in a partnership of 131 for the fourth wicket. Brehaut (24) top scored with 122 and Satterthwaite (26) scored 87.

Central Districts fought back after losing its first three wickets for 28 runs, with Kate Broadmore and Sarah McGlashan sharing in a fourth-wicket partnership of 67. Broadmore scored 52 and McGlashan 29.

But at 114 for five off 30 overs the resistance had folded and Canterbury went on to win comfortably.

In the third game, Wellington was dismissed for 110 and Auckland knocked off the runs for the loss of only two wickets in 26.3 overs.

Opener Sue Curtis scored 55 not out.

The heavy rain that fell in Dunedin yesterday also caused problems for the Kaikorai Bowling Club as it prepared its green for the annual Festival Fours tournament that starts tomorrow morning.

The green was flooded during a club tie yesterday and it took time to sweep the water off the green.

But club officials are confident the greens will be in top condition for the three-day tournament that ends on Sunday afternoon.