The Northern Brave men and women were back on Friday night after two-weeks off as they hosted the Central Hinds and Stags at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
The women’s team went down by four wickets in a last over thriller whereas the men recorded their fifth win in a row with a 19-run win.
The hosts were on the back foot early as Lucy Boucher was dismissed in the third over. The captain herself was the next to go as wickets continued to fall at one end. At the other end Caitlin Gurrey went about her business and held the innings together.
In the end we posted 110/7 with Gurrey carrying her bat finishing 58 not out off 50 balls.
With the ball, Lauren Heaps got the first wicket of opener Gemma Sims. She then struck again two overs later removing Kerry Tomlinson. That brought Jess Watkin to the wicket, and she looked to take the game away from the Brave, but Nensi Patel was able to dismiss her for 16.
The Brave continued to take wickets at regular intervals kept the visitors under pressure. It all came down to the final over with the Hinds needing eight runs to win. Eventually they were successful in their chase, winning by four wickets with two balls to spare. Patel (2-20) and Heaps (2-23) picked up two wickets and Brooke Halliday (1-15) and Charlotte Sarsfield (1-25) finished with one each.
The men were up next. Stags captain Tom Bruce called correctly at the toss and sent Northern Brave in to bat. Openers Jeet Raval and Tim Seifert departed early and that bought Colin de Grandhomme and Joe Carter together. The pair would combine for a monster 112-run partnership before Carter was caught on the rope for 32.
A late fightback from the Stags restricted Northern Brave men to 176/7 after their 20 overs. Colin de Grandhomme was the star of the show with a brutal 86 off 45, which included five sixes.
The men started well with the ball as Anurag Verma removed opener Mason Hughes in the second over. A mix up running between the wickets saw the competitions leading run scorer in Dane Cleaver run out the very next over. Tight bowling from Mitch Santner and Ish Sodhi through the middle saw the required rate rise and put the Stags batters under pressure.
Despite an impressive 68 from Ben Smith, the visitors fell short finishing 157/8 after their 20 overs, giving the Northern Brave a 19-run victory. Santner (2-25) and Verma (2-36) were the best finishing with two wickets and Matt Fisher (1-34), Ish Sodhi (1-29) and Joe Walker (1-2) all picked up one.
A big weekend of cricket comes to a close for our Northern Brave men and women on Sunday as they host the Wellington Blaze and Firebirds in Whangarei.
It has been a quick turnaround for the teams as this will be their second match in less than 48 hours after they played the Central Hinds and Stags in Mount Maunganui on Friday night.
The men’s squad is unchanged from Friday’s game against the Stags, whereas the women have made one change with Emma Baker coming in for Eimear Richardson.
The women’s match gets underway on Sunday from 10.10am at Cobham Oval, followed by the men at 1.40pm.
Northern Brave (W) Squad
Brooke Halliday (C)
Holly Topp (WK)
Coach: Joanne Broadbent
Assistant Coach: Maia Lewis
Physio: Rachel Lambert
Kate Anderson unavailable due to injury
Northern Brave (M) Squad
Jeet Raval (C)
Colin de Grandhomme
Tim Seifert (WK)
Coach: Graeme Aldridge
Assistant Coach: Sri Krishnamurthy
Katene Clarke and Zak Gibson unavailable due to injury.