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Waicol through to national finals

Annissa Greenless batting for the Wairarapa College First XI girls’ cricket team earlier in the year. PHOTO/FILE

CRICKET

JAKE BELESKI
[email protected]

The Wairarapa College First XI girls’ cricket team survived a couple of nail-biting T20 matches on Wednesday to secure a spot at the national finals next month.

Waicol were representing Wairarapa at the Central Districts finals in Palmerston North, after advancing as the qualifier in Term 1 of this year.

The finals were scheduled to be held in March, but bad weather forced them to be put back to Term 4.

Waicol’s first match on Wednesday was a semifinal against the Palmerston North Girls’ High School First XI, and they chose to bat first at Ongley Park in Palmerston North.

At 19-4 and then 31-5, it looked as if Waicol’s hopes could be dashed at the first hurdle.

Amy Fitzgerald [15 off 18] and Olivia Roseingrave [17 not out off 35] got things back on track with a 20-run partnership, and Waicol eventually finished their 20 overs on 93-8.

Coach Esther Lanser praised the contribution of the lower order batters.

“We were 19-4 and basically staring down the barrel.

“Olivia Roseingrave batted patiently and allowed us to bat our 20 overs – she was the anchor and there were good contributions from Amy Fitzgerald and Annissa Greenlees [13 off 14].”

Olivia Roseingrave was the pick of the bowlers as Waicol went about defending their total, finishing with 1-9 from four economical overs.

Palmerston North Girls’ High School only lost three wickets in the run chase, but the tight bowling of the Waicol side meant they could only reach 85-3 from their 20 overs.

In Wednesday afternoon’s final, Waicol were up against the Napier Girls’ High School First XI.

Waicol were asked to bat first, and were given a much more convincing foundation from openers Caitlin Elliott [23 off 38] and Kayarna Jones-Dennes [21 off 35].

But regular wickets in the middle of the innings kept Waicol from posting a big score, and they had to settle for 83-8 from their 20 overs.

Waicol knew they would have to produce another tight bowling effort if they were to have any chance of advancing to the national finals, and that is exactly what they did.

Olivia Roseingrave took 1-12 from her four overs, while Ella Southey may not have taken any wickets, but her 0-9 from four overs proved crucial in the end as Napier Girls’ High School finished on 80-8, to lose by just three runs.

Two direct hit runouts from Jessica Roseingrave were just as important for Waicol, and she even had to bowl an over late in the innings, unexpectedly, after a miscalculation with the bowling rotation.

“I think they needed eight to win off the last over, and Olivia bowled out of her skin,” Lanser said.

“We only bowled five wides in the second game, which was a massive improvement – that made a big difference.”

They can now look forward to the national finals in Christchurch, where they will take on the best teams from Northern Districts, Canterbury, Auckland, Wellington and Otago.

Waicol will play six matches in three days in Christchurch, with the hope of becoming national champions.

“We’re really excited – the girls have worked really hard,” Lanser said.

“We’ve been doing fitness trainings two mornings a week and we trained right throughout the school holidays.

“Wednesday’s matches were character building and we had contributions from everyone in the team which was really awesome.”

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