Capital U15 captain shines

By Jared Smith,

Emma Fulbrook can do it all when it comes to cricket.

The 15-year-old captain of the victorious Wellington team proved the revelation of the Under 15/17 girls tournament at the Wanganui Cricket Festival, highlighted by a superb 50 in the final against Auckland Under-15 at Victoria Park yesterday.

Taking it to an Auckland team which boasted New Zealand Under-18 players Natasha Van Tilburg and Yasmeen Karzem, Fulbrook hit out with 56 off 30-odd balls in partnership with Florence Marshall.

From the launching pad of 66 runs from the first nine overs, Marshall carried on being caught just after making 52 and although Wellington lost a handful of late wickets the die had already been cast as they set an imposing 138 total from their 20 overs.

Yesterday's games had been reduced from 30 overs to T20 affairs after the early morning showers, although the sun and humidity were quick to make an impact.

Fulbrook then led a Wellington bowling and fielding attack that relentlessly pressured Auckland, who slumped to 35-2 in the seventh over to 49-6 by the 11th.

At that point the lower order just played on to survive, as Wellington ended their four days undefeated against the U15 teams, with one blemish against the older Manawatu secondary girls.

Wellington coach Robbie Kerr heaped praise on his shining light.

"For me, she's been the player of the tournament."

Kerr's assessment proved spot on as despite having to leave early to get to a Wellington Firebirds game, he would have been pleased to learn Fulbrook accepted the prizes for both highest run scorer and highest wicket taker of the tournament.

Kerr said there were several in the Wellington team who could hopefully use the festival as the first step to higher honours.

"They've played six games and it's been brilliantly run by Dilan [Raj] and Wanganui cricket."

The Wanganui team, who could actually be called the 'Hands Across New Zealand XI', finished their tournament with a loss to Central Districts U15.

But in a way, they shared in the success as no less than eight Wellington players at different times wore the blue colours to make up the numbers, which Kerr said actually assisted immeasurably with giving his full squad bowling and batting practice.

Central Districts and Canterbury players also constantly lent a hand to the handful of true-blue local girls in the Wanganui team.


January 10

Semifinals: Manawatu secondary 90 lost to Auckland U15 91-1; Wellington U15 164-7 beat Northern Districts U15 79.

January 11

(20-over games)

Final: Wellington U15 138-4 beat Auckland U15 77-6.

Other results: Manawatu secondary beat Northern Districts U15 by nine wickets; Central Districts U15 beat Wanganui secondary by 60 runs; Taranaki secondary beat Canterbury U15 by eight runs.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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