Milla Green, like her predominantly fellow intermediate schoolgirls, didn't know too many faces in her age-group cricket team but it seems it hardly mattered.

Green and her teammates were able to build a rapport on short notice to become champions at the Lower North Island Under-13 Twenty20 tournament in Masterton last week.

"We were just really encouraging on the field and supported each other really well," says the 13-year-old who was named the Most Valuable Player at the tourney staged at the Queen Elizabeth II Park and Wairarapa College grounds.

The right-arm medium pacer, who started attending Napier Girls' High School this week, first played cricket at Taradale Primary School.


It was inevitable, as she has brothers, Ethan, 15, and Noah, 11, on either side who play the game, so the elder sibling in the Green family became the beacon.

"I enjoy meeting all the girls and the whole game is fun," says Green who is hoping to graduate to women's club competition matches on Friday nights as well as for her high school.

She has yet to decide which club she's going to join.

Following on from the success of the Cornwall girls' team at the annual Riverbend Cricket Camp in the Bay, the intermediate schoolgirls continued their dominance at the age-group tournament.

The Bob Morgan and John Wakefield-coached side, with Keita Russell as manager, had Charlotte Wakefield at the helm as skipper and were undefeated.

It was the schoolgirls' first hard-ball outing, with the tournament featuring eight teams split into two pools.

The Bay found themselves in a pool with Wellington Gold, Masterton Intermediate School and a joint Taranaki-Wairarapa team.

The first game against Wellington was expected to be a difficult one.

However, Wellington were held to 41 for 6 and Hawke's Bay knocked off the required 42 runs for victory in just 6.4 overs.

On day two, the team batted first in the morning game, scoring 150-4 against the Taranaki-Wairarapa team before dismissing them for 36.

The afternoon game was played in extremely hot conditions, with a thermometer showing a temperature of 37.3 degrees in the middle of the ground.

Masterton Intermediate School batted first, compiling a score of 61 for 9 in their 20 overs.

"The Hawke's Bay Girls obviously wanted to get to the swimming pool quickly, getting the required runs in just 4.3 overs," says Morgan.

Day three saw the winners of each pool play the final.

This was a mirror image of last year's final, with the Bay team avenging their defeat to Wairarapa.

Batting first after winning the toss, the Bay scored just 105 runs after losing wickets at regular intervals.

However, a superb fielding and bowling effort saw Wairarapa manage to total only 57 for 6 in reply, meaning Hawke's Bay won by 48 runs.

"The fielding and bowling efforts at this tournament were superior to any other seen by a female Bay team at any level this season and were the key to the team's success," says Morgan.

Four times, the team's bowlers were sitting on hattricks, and in the four games played, they conceded only 29 wides among other extras.

Zyggy Kireka-Russell was the Bay's most improved player.