The  SOUTH CANTERBURY women’s cricket team got their Aotea Cup campaign off to a positive start with a tense four run win over Dunedin at Aorangi Oval.

In bitterly cold conditions yesterday, South Canterbury batted first and scored 157 for eight from their 40 overs, thanks to Rowen Milburn with 44 and Lisa Grant who made 39.

The pair combined for a match defining partnership, after the hosts had slumped to 77-6 at one point.

Amber BoyceDunedin appeared to be cruising to their target  with nine wickets in hand with under half the runs to get, but tight bowling by Amber Boyce, who took three wickets and Milburn, who showed her all round talent by bagging three, meant the squeeze went on the young Dunedin side and they were all out with the target in sight.

South Canterbury Cricket community development officer, Richard Davidson said he was pleased with the commitment the team showed in the field.

The experience of Grant, Boyce and Milburn, who have all played domestic cricket for either Otago or Canterbury proved to be the difference, he said.

The Aotea Cup is played between teams from Dunedin, Central Otago, Southland and South Canterbury.

South Canterbury’s next opponents will be Central Otago in Oturehua next weekend.

Coaches Report:

After winning the toss, South Canterbury got of to a slow start and was soon in trouble at the half way stage of their innings. With only 60 runs on the board they had lost 5 wickets. Only Courtney Hamel (11) and Courtney Buckman (15) got into double figures. All of the top order had trouble with the swinging ball and struggled to hit the ball into gaps. When Otago Spark, Lisa Grant (44) and retired White Fern Rowan Milburn (40no) came together they began to run the quick singles, (although this was to be Grant’s down fall as she tried this once too often and was run out). At the end of South Canterbury’s allotted 40 overs they had got through to a now respectful and defendable total of 157/7.

Dunedin’s turn at bat got of to a steady start against the new ball attack of Hannah Linton and Hamel who picked up the first wicket LBW with the total on 9.

Team mate of Grant in the Sparks and Dunedin captain, Kate Crowley kept the innings going by hitting the bad ball to the boundary. Her innings of 80 no made up of over half of Dunedin’s runs. With her at the crease the Dunedin were always going to go close. The run rate required always kept in toe with the balls remaining.

With the introduction of Milburn (3-22) and Amber Boyce (4-24) the chase was slowed down somewhat and the final over began with 8 run required for a Dunedin victory. The first ball of Libby Stuck’s over created a runout at the bowlers end resulting in South Canterbury wining by 8 runs.

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