Cricket: Havelock N High girls win NZCT

By Anendra Singh

They shared the spoils in 2007 but this time Havelock North High School are the best first XI schoolgirls' team in the country.

The Peter Hensman-coached team beat Palmerston North Girls' High School with a superior run rate to etch their names for the second time on the New Zealand Community Trust Cup in their 10-year history.

"The way we won it was pretty impressive," said Hensman.

The Tammy Welsh-captained HNHS followed a plan but, he said, performed remarkably better then how they were expected to.

Having trailed Palmy via net run rate at the start of the day, Havelock North upped the tempo in the Twenty20 tourney for a gob-smacking net run rate of 2.167, marginally ahead of the opposition's 1.690.

The villagers shared the 2007 bragging rights with New Plymouth High School after the final was rained out.

This year the four-day tourney was rained out in the opening day but Havelock North were the only unbeaten team after the first three games.

They beat Waikato Diocesan School (Hamilton), skittling them for 69-5 in 20 overs.

Havelock North MVP Caitlin King took 2-7 from her four allotted overs while unwanted Central Districts Hinds player Holly Macdonald had 1-4 from 4 overs.

In reply, Havelock North were 73-4 in the 13th over with Macdonald 37no and King 16no for a six-wicket win.

They beat St Hilda's Collegiate (Dunedin) by 13 runs and St Kentigerns College (Auckland) by 49 runs.

"All we needed to do was beat Palmy in game 5 to go to take outright lead," said Hensman, as CD Hinds player Hannah Rowe, who opted out of the round-three whitewash against Otago Sparks in the Bay at the weekend, made an impressive 75no to spearhead Palmerston North a 28-run victory.

That left three teams with a loss each at the top of the table, vying for the title after day three.

St Hilda made it easier for Havelock North and Palmy when they lost their final match to Wellington Girls.

St Kentigerns were on track to give HNHS a boost at 42-2 but then choked to be all out for 55 to hand Palmerston North another win.

"The Palmy girls were well ahead in the run rate stakes and already celebrating, expecting they had done enough to win the title," said Hensman, who had his trusty calculator but a lack of data from the NZ Cricket website turned it into a guessing game. "All we knew was that we had to bat first, get around 150, then bowl our final opponents New Plymouth GHS out for about 60 and hope that was going to be enough," he said. They powered to a 136-run win.

With the team all back to school next year, Havelock North are looking forward to defending their title.

"The win was especially satisfying as the team had quickly adapted to playing T20 cricket versus the old format of 40-over matches," Hensman said, noting he prefers a 40-over tourney.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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