Gemma Sims (right) in action for the Wairarapa Korus. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

JAKE BELESKI

jake.beleski@age.co.nz

Girls’ cricket in Wairarapa continues to go from strength to strength, and the selection of three talented local players in the Central Districts Under-21 squad is yet another example of that.

Georgia Atkinson and sisters Kate and Gemma Sims were all named in the squad that will travel to Auckland this week for the national tournament.

The team will play four one-day matches, starting on Friday against the Canterbury Under-21s.

On Saturday they will take on Otago, and then Wellington and Auckland on Sunday and Tuesday respectively.

They will then play a series of Twenty20 (T20) matches on Wednesday and Thursday, against Northern Districts, Canterbury and Wellington.

Wairarapa Cricket’s female development officer, Melissa Hansen, said it was “awesome” that Wairarapa players were getting opportunities in representative teams.

“Kate and Gemma have come through the under-15s, and Kate and Georgia are in the Hinds, with Gemma in the squad as well.

“It’s awesome they get this opportunity with the under-21s.”

Kate and Georgia were part of the Central Hinds team that competed in the first two rounds of the national domestic competition, but with the team set to be re-selected for the next rounds, performances in age group teams could be crucial to ensuring they get another chance.

For Gemma, she will be looking to force her way into the playing squad when that team is named.

“Hopefully they can put some good performances out — it’s more their age group as well,” Melissa said.

“They’ve still got a few years in under-21s, and under-21s is sort of the step in the middle, so I think this will be a good tournament week for them to put out some good performances with bat and ball, and keeping as well.”

Under-15 thriller

The younger generation of female cricketers in Wairarapa got off to a winning start at their under-15 Central Districts tournament in Palmerston North on Tuesday.

Playing against Taranaki in the first of six T20 matches they will play at the tournament, Wairarapa lost the toss and were asked to field first.

Taranaki amassed 96 from their 20 overs, but were helped immensely by 36 wides conceded by the Wairarapa bowlers.

Coach Simon Roseingrave said they bowled “pretty averagely”.

“There were a lot of wides that we wouldn’t normally bowl.

“We probably gave them a few extra runs that we didn’t need to.”

Macy Lyford and Ocean Bartlett were the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-7 and 2-13 respectively.

In reply, Wairarapa found themselves in deep trouble at 26-5, but significant contributions from Lyford (26) and Emma McLeod (17) edged them closer to the target.

At 91-9 it was anyone’s game, but Olivia Horsbrugh and Sophie McNab held their nerves to get Wairarapa over the line.

They were due to play Hawke’s Bay in the second match on Tuesday afternoon, before taking on Horowhenua Kapiti and Nelson on Wednesday.