Martin to play, despite injuring finger

Katey Martin
Katey Martin
Otago won the dress rehearsal but it has come at a small cost.

The captain, Katey Martin, dislocated her finger during the 31-run win against Canterbury in Christchurch yesterday.

Martin was diving forward to scoop up a catch but her finger dug into the ground and she bent it backwards.

Sparks coach Nathan King said the wicketkeeper-batsman would be fine for tomorrow’s elimination final against Auckland at Eden Park Outer Oval.

How much it impacts on her keeping is unclear but the veteran is a hardy campaigner.

The game against Canterbury was a dead rubber, useful only as a warm-up for the playoffs. But while the Sparks stretched their winning streak to five games, they were a little sloppy in some areas.

The visiting side did not bat particularly well but still scratched out a winning score of 122 for seven. Some of the fielding was terrible but it did bowl well to dismiss Canterbury for 91.

The Sparks made a poor start with the bat. Suzie Bates holed out in the opening over and fellow opener Millie Cowan followed her in trudging off after she was out first ball of the second over.

The Sparks rallied through Martin and Hannah Darlington. The pair added 56 before Martin hit a waist-high full toss straight to cover on 34.

The replay suggested she was unlucky the ball was not called a no-ball. But then again a slow full toss outside off ought to have be smacked over the rope.

Darlington missed a straight one on 30 and the Sparks found themselves in a pickle at 68 for five.

Canterbury captain Frankie Mackay picked up the wicket of the dangerous Amanda-Jade Wellington for seven. She was impressive with two for 12 from four overs.

Eden Carson (17 not out) and Emma Black (13 not out) put on an unbroken stand of 21 for the eighth wicket to give the Sparks a small total to work with.

The Sparks had an unlucky start in the field when Martin was injured.

Sophie Gray replaced her behind the stumps and dropped a very simple catch when Natalie Cox got an edge off Bates.

Cox had another let-off the very next ball. This time it was Darlington who shelved the catch out in the deep.

Cox ran out of luck on 14 and Darlington redeemed herself when she bobbled but held on to towering caught-and-bowled opportunity to remove Kirsty Nation.

Canterbury was wobbling at 37 for three and falling behind the required run rate.

All the pressure shifted to Mackay. The accomplished right-hander got herself set but was trapped in front by Bates for 15.

Keeper Laura Hughes tried to whack her side to victory but was well caught in deep by Black.

Darlington bowled Jess Simmons later in the over to pick up her third wicket and more or less seal the result. And Gray wrapped up the win with a smart stumping.

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