The "Suzie Bates Oval" — like the sound of it. The University Oval will temporarily be renamed the Suzie Bates Oval on Tuesday. The White Ferns are hosting Pakistan in two T20s at the venue. Game two is on Tuesday and it has been set aside to celebrate Bates becoming the first White Fern to play 300 internationals. Her family, friends, and Otago Sparks team-mates will be attending the game to help her celebrate. Notes From Slip will be there too. First interviewed Suzie when she was just 17 (see the above photo) and she was still wrestling with a tough decision — which sport to pursue. She excelled at both cricket and netball and avoided choosing for long enough to play for the Tall Ferns at the 2008 Olympics. She eventually settled on cricket when she was named captain. And what a careeer it has been. She is the leading T20 run-scorer (4021 runs) in the world (in men’s or women’s cricket) and the fourth-leading scorer (5383) in women’s ODI cricket. It is such a shame our greatest female player never got the opportunity to play test cricket. Can only assume she would have been near the top of those run-scoring charts as well.
Georgia Plimmer was most certainly rushed into the White Ferns side prematurely. She took the World Cup spot which should have gone to Kate Ebrahim. But the selectors saw something exceptional in the Wellington teenager and she delivered on some of that promise at the weekend. She smote 147 off 139 balls for the Blaze to set up a 145-run win over Northern Districts in New Zealand’s first day-night Hallyburton Johnstone Shield match. She fell just 16 runs shy of breaking Sophie Devine’s record of 162 not out for the Blaze. Cracking effort.
Congratulations to Taieri, who won the Dunedin declaration competition and did it rather comfortably. They had a draw first up against Albion but won the next four on the trot to claim the spoils. Nick Kwant was the leading scorer for Taieri with 246 runs at an average of 51.2, while Ben McCall and Beckham Wheeler-Greenall claimed eight wickets each. Wheeler-Greenall averaged nearly 50 with the bat as well.
The zone 4 Hawke Cup fixtures get under way this weekend. North Otago are hosting South Canterbury at Centennial Park and Southland have the home advantage against Otago Country. Mid Canterbury open their season next weekend against Southland in Ashburton.