By Gary Caffell
Melissa Hansen did Wairarapa proud as a member of the New Zealand open women’s indoor cricket team contesting the transtasman series in Port McQuarie, Australia.
Four teams from each nation took part in the event, open men and women and under-22 men and women, with five games being played over a three-day period.
Both countries were using the series as a build-up to the 2017 World Cup in Dubai where Australia will be ranked in the No 1 spot and New Zealand at number two across all four teams.
It was Australia who dominated on this occasion. The Kiwis did give them a run for their money in the open’s men section where Australia won 3-2 but in all other sections they recorded a 5-0 clean sweep.
At 20 years old, Hansen was one of the youngest in the New Zealand open women’s squad which was trying to break an eight-year losing streak against the Aussies.
She played in four of the five games and did well enough with bat and ball to suggest her ambition of becoming a permanent fixture in the side is well within her capabilities.
So impressive was Hansen in the fourth game she was named player of the match. She was instrumental in what was her side’s best effort of the series, taking two wickets for seven runs off her allotted two overs and also starring with the bat.
There she was involved in an opening partnership where a very respectable 34 runs were scored in the allotted four overs with Hansen being responsible for 24 of them.
Australia did go on to win this game but the 89-77 result was the closest New Zealand got to them over the five matches.
Wairarapa was also represented in the New Zealand under-22yrs men’s team by former Rathkeale first XI skipper Liam Burling but unfortunately for him he damaged an ankle and was able to participate in just the one match.