By Gary Caffell
Wairarapa Koru Melissa Hansen has been a star act for Central Districts at the national under-21 women’s cricket tournament in Auckland.
Hansen, a regular member of the Central Hinds senior women’s squad over the past couple of seasons, has opened both the batting and bowling and made a decent impact in each department, but more particularly the batting.
Central District’s opening match against Wellington was an absolute cracker with the former grabbing the win with just one ball remaining to be bowled.
Wellington batted first and made a healthy 269-4 in their 50 overs.
Hansen bowled the maximum number of overs allowed any one bowler, 10, and finished with 1-49.
It was Hansen who led the way in the CD reply.
She made 83 from 114 balls in 148 minutes, including five fours before being run out and when she departed the scoreboard stood at 181/2.
Her partnership with fellow opener Tyla Brown (57) produced 143 runs.
A disappointing loss to Otago by 52 runs followed for CD with Hansen taking 1-39 off 8.1 overs at the bowling crease but failing to get off the mark with the bat.
It was a very different story for the former Wairarapa College pupil in the next game against Canternbury, however.
There Central Districts batted first and according to the official match report Hansen “looked the part” from the very start.
In fact, the only blot on her performance was being caught out when only five runs short of what would have been a well deserved century.
Hansen was at the crease for 159 minutes and her 95 came off 126 balls and included 11 fours.
Her third wicket partnership with captain Jess Watkin (127 not out) was worth 152 runs and when Hansen was out CD had 224 on the board, a score they advanced to 302-3 by the end of their 50 overs.
Canterbury made a valiant effort to chase down such a big total but came up eight runs short.
Hansen did her bit with the ball, claiming the wickets of both openers and finishing with 2-34 from an impressive 10 overs.
The Auckland v Central Districts match was rain affected with Hansen scoring 10 in CD’s 145 and then taking 0-11 from four overs when Auckland got through to 133-2, enough to give them the victory under the Duckworth Lewis system.