Two unbeaten centuries, only one winner. The 2017 Women’s One-Day trophy showcased the best of the women’s domestic game on a sweltering February day at Hagley Oval.
Katie Perkins starred with the bat in the opening half after Auckland Victoria Lind, captaining her last game for the Hearts before retirement, opted to bat in the dream Final between the two slickest teams in the competition.
For the Hearts, the goal was a trophy three-peat and the perfect farewell for their longserving skipper, Lind a veteran of more than 100 games in navy blue — and, perhaps also for the stellar Sara McGlashan, rumoured to be hanging up her bat after a magnificent career for team and country.
For top qualifiers the Canterbury Magicians, the goal was to erase the pain of the previous day when the defending T20 champions had come up short for the first time all season in the T20 format against Suzie Bates and the Otago Sparks, who rampaged to their maiden T20 title out in Rangiora.
Worse, powerhouse allrounder Frances Mackay had been struck flush on the unprotected part of the wrist by the ball during a wild attempted runout, leaving her with a broken thumb. A broken bone wasn’t enough to stop her playing on in both trophy matches, but it was a tough break.
“We were obviously all really hurt after yesterday,” said the Mags’ one-day captain Amy Satterthwaite.
“We probably didn’t quite play with the courage that we needed to to get over the line in the T20 Final after the way that Suzie Bates played, so to come out and bounce back straightaway in the One-Day Final — and even to bounce back after the Hearts beat us in the last two One-Day rounds last weekend was just massive. We were hurting a lot last week.”
Unlike then, this time the match would be no walkover. It was a taut affair in hot, windy conditions, in front of a keen home crowd at one of the great New Zealand cricket grounds.
Perkins’ century (nine fours, one six) was crucial as she fended off Amy Satterthwaite’s canny off-spinners and guided the Hearts to a defendable 233 for six in their 50 overs.
The WHITE FERN has had one of her best seasons with the bat and came in for her side in the 17th over at 75 for two, after power starter Anna Peterson and the anchorwoman Lauren Down (32) had both been restricted to starts by Lea Tahuhu (2-56) and Kate Ebrahim (née Broadmore, 2-32).
McGlashan had been Ebrahim’s second wicket and she had also held the catch to dismiss Peterson, the portent of a special day for the former WHITE FERN and Central Hind in her first season with the Magicians. But Perkins held firm, finding the last 11 runs she needed in the 50th over to celebrate her second One-Day domestic ton, equalling her career best.
Allrounders Ebrahim and Erin Bermingham would go on to make the difference with the bat after the shock early loss of Satterthwaite reverberated around the ground — Satterthwaite herself could scarcely believe the show-stopping low, diving, one-handed grab at gully from Regina Lili’i that it took to remove her. The catch of the season, and what a time for it.
When fellow opener Kirsty Nation departed for 30, the Magicians were 66/2 in the 18th, needing to find some impetus to keep pace with the target. Cue Bermingham and Ebrahim’s belligerent 145-run stand for the third wicket, seeing off the threat of Holly Huddleston and then getting the boundaries flowing as they set a new Canterbury record against the Hearts.
When Ebrahim hit the winning runs — the final boundary of the match — she made it to her century with the same stroke, but had been so focussed on getting her side across the line that it wasn’t until after she was mobbed by her teammates that she realised she had reached three figures in a Final.