The Jessica Watkin-captained Central Districts team got off to the perfect start at the NZC National Women's Under-21 tournament in Auckland with an eight-wicket win over Canterbury yesterday.
Watkin, very experienced at this level as well as being a key member of the senior Hinds squad, had a big hand in the victory, cleaning up the Canterbury tail with figures of 3-15 from her 7.3 overs of spin.
CD bowled the Cantabrians out for 90 in the 35th over at Lloyd Elsmore Park.
In reply, CD raced to 92-2 in less than 12 overs with Watkin smashing 36 from 15 balls, including four boundaries and two sixes.
She was run out at 89-1 going for the run to tie the scores.
Opener Emily Cunningham from Taranaki top scored with 40 not out off 37 balls.
The other Central Districts bowlers to do well were Taranaki's Talia Hurley (2-8), Hawke's Bay's Rosemary Mair (2-13) and Wairarapa's Georgia Atkinson (2-19).
This Central Districts team has already carved a unique place in New Zealand cricket with the selection of two sets of twins.
Sisters Gemma and Kate Sims (Wairarapa), and Anna and Kate Gaging (Nelson), have all played together previously, being members of the champion CD development squad that won the national up-and-comers Under-15 title in January 2016.
The identical Gaging twins were also selected alongside Watkin for New Zealand in this year's Under-18 World Indoor Cricket Cup team, although they decided not to make the trip to Dubai.
It is hoped the tournament scorers won't be too confused as both Kate Gaging and Gemma Sims are in the CD squad as wicketkeepers.
Meanwhile, in other representative games this week, the Ray White Wanganui Under 17s had to settle for a share of third in the Central Districts tournament in Napier when their playoff with Nelson was rained out, with Wanganui having just scored over 100 for the loss of six wickets.
Sam Sherriff finished as the tournament's top run scorer and was named in the Central Districts Under 17 squad.
There was heartbreak in the Under 15s tournament in Levin after Wanganui made the final with Nelson and had secured comfortable first innings points.
Nelson had a good dig in their second innings, bowled out for 177, which left Wanganui requiring only 76 runs for an outright victory, or just simply batting out for the draw.
Instead, the side collapsed to be bowled out for 50 to lose the match and the title by 25 runs.
Earlier in the week, Watkin and her fellow St Johns Tech team-mate Dominic Lock had taken an Under 15 girls' team to the new Central Districts tournament for this level in Palmerston North.
A development squad to keep girls in the game, the side was up against it, however promising player Charlotte Stent was later chosen as the non-travelling reserve for the CD Under 15s.
Stent, who also plays Under 11 boys' cricket, regards Watkin as her role model, and so was pleased to be coached by Hinds star