Canterbury women ease into final
Reigning champion Canterbury confirmed a place in the national women's T20 cricket final with a round left after beating Auckland by 23 runs at Lincoln yesterday.
Canterbury are unbeaten from four rounds and will qualify for the January 13 final even if they lose their last round-robin match against Central.
Canterbury had White Fern Amy Satterthwaite continue her run-getting exploits following the recent series against Australia earlier this month. She top-scored with an assertive 44 from 39 balls with six fours and shared a match-winning second wicket stand of 87 with opener Hayley Jensen.
Jensen contributed 37 and the Magicians posted 132-4 after being sent in. Only Ros McNeill was able to stem the regular run flow, conceding just nine from her four overs.
Auckland lost early wickets and were always behind the asking rate with pace bowler Lea Tahuhu particularly demanding, claiming 2-11 from her four overs.
Wellington maintained their hold on second with a 13-run victory against Otago even without injured international Sophie Devine.
Wellington posted 126-5, led by Australian Lauren Ebsary's 43 and 32 from opener Lucy Doolan.
Otago threatened but Ebsary's dismissal of the dangerous Suzie Bates and three wickets to Michelle Bunkall kept them under control.
Central Districts mustered just 92-7 against their Northern counterparts with only Sara McGlashan making any real headway against some tight Northern bowling led by Nic Browne, whose four overs included three maidens and two wickets, and Anna Peterson.
Northern reached the target with 1.1 overs to spare thanks to Browne and Nicola Dodd adding an unbroken 58 for the fourth wicket.
Canterbury 132-4 (A Satterthwaite 44, H Jensen 37) beat Auckland 109-6 (L Down 30, K Perkins 23; L Tahuhu 2-11) by 23 runs.
Wellington 126-5 (L Ebsary 43, L Doolan 32, S McDonald 21) beat Otago 113-6 (V Abbott 33no, S Bates 31, S Tsukigawa 22; M Bunkall 3-13) by 13 runs.
Central Districts 92-7 (S McGlashan 45; N Browne 2-9, A Peterson 2-9) lost to Northern Districts 95-3 off 18.5 overs (N Dodd 30no, Browne 27no).
Points after four rounds: Canterbury 16, Wellington 12, Otago 8, Auckland, Northern and Central all 4.