Young local cricketers shine

TALENTED: Gisborne’s Northern Districts under-15 representatives (from left) Kayley Knight, Mia Reeves and Grace Levy. Picture supplied

GISBORNE cricketers in the Northern Districts under-15 girls’ team performed well in the national under-15 girls’ tournament at Whanganui this week.

Although ND won only one of their six games, the three Gisborne players in the side put in good individual performances.

Out of the six teams — comprising over 70 players — Gisborne’s Kayley Knight, Mia Reeves and Grace Levy all ranked in the top quarter in their specialities.

Knight, the ND captain, was the tournament’s third-ranked batter, with 199 runs, and 11th-ranked bowler. In overall MVP (most valuable player) standings, she was placed third.

Reeves ranked 10th with the bat, having scored 124 runs, ranked second in the field with five catches and a run-out, and was 11th overall in the MVP stakes.

Levy had an outstanding tournament with the ball, ranking 18th in the bowling list.

Team coach Mel Knight, also of Gisborne, said these rankings were a fantastic result for the trio.

“Grace (Levy) was in her first tournament and will be one to watch in the next couple of years,” she said.

In the first two days, ND played three 30-over games at Victoria Park in Whanganui.

In the first game, Christchurch scored 221-5 and ND could make only 135-9 in reply. However, Knight scored 50 not out in the chase.

In the second game, ND were dismissed for 109 and Wellington scored 110 for the loss of three wickets.

The Gisborne girls put on a combined match-winning display in the third game, against Otago.

Otago made 173-7, Levy taking 2-17 from four overs and putting the brakes on the Otago batters when it looked as if they would pass 200.

All three Gisborne girls took crucial catches in this match.

Knight took 1-14 off six overs, then anchored the run chase with an innings of 44.

At 51-1 after 15 overs, ND needed 123 runs from the remaining 15 overs to win the match.

“That’s when we hit the accelerator,” Mel Knight said.

Mia Reeves scored 44 not out off 38 balls. She hit four boundaries and, with excellent running between the wickets, set the game alight.

The winning runs came with five balls to spare and four wickets in hand.

A rain delay on the morning of Day 3 meant the games that day were reduced to 20 overs.

Against Central Districts, ND batted first and scored 111-4.

Kayley Knight scored 34 and Waikato Valley’s Carys Aveyard scored 36 not out.

Central reached their target for the loss of three wickets.

Knight took 1-14 and Levy, 1-23.

Levy and Reeves took a catch each in this game.

The game against Auckland was the team’s toughest match of the tournament.

“Auckland had dominated every game so far and we knew we were up against it,” Mel Knight said.

Batting first, ND posted 85. The highlight was an innings of 29 off 17 balls by Reeves, who also ran out the Auckland opener.

Auckland passed the ND total with only two wickets gone and with several overs to spare.

On Day 4, Northern played Otago again.

Otago were in trouble early, losing two wickets for two runs. Kayley Knight dismissed both openers in her first two overs and took 2-15 in the innings.

Grace Levy kept up the pressure from the other end, taking 1-17.

Best of the ND bowlers was Gisborne-born, Bay of Plenty-based, Tash Wakelin (4-24).

The chase started well, Knight anchoring it with 56. A quickfire knock of 26 from Reeves got ND ahead of the required run rate.

Northern needed 13 runs from two overs, but Otago’s best bowler, Paige Loggenberg, proved virtually unhittable.

That left ND needing nine off the last over.

A wicket from the first ball got Knight on strike. She hit the second ball for four, but was run out on the next.

A single and a leg bye meant a four was needed off the last ball. A swing and a miss meant Otago finished their tournament with a win.

Knight has Northern Premier League Twenty20 games in Auckland tomorrow, and from Monday she and Reeves will also play in the national u18 girls’ tournament in Wellington.

Mel Knight said she was pleased with the team, especially the Gisborne girls, with whom she had worked a lot this season.

She said a Poverty Bay girls’ u15 team would play the strong Waikato Valley side in Cambridge next weekend.

GISBORNE cricketers in the Northern Districts under-15 girls’ team performed well in the national under-15 girls’ tournament at Whanganui this week.

Although ND won only one of their six games, the three Gisborne players in the side put in good individual performances.

Out of the six teams — comprising over 70 players — Gisborne’s Kayley Knight, Mia Reeves and Grace Levy all ranked in the top quarter in their specialities.

Knight, the ND captain, was the tournament’s third-ranked batter, with 199 runs, and 11th-ranked bowler. In overall MVP (most valuable player) standings, she was placed third.

Reeves ranked 10th with the bat, having scored 124 runs, ranked second in the field with five catches and a run-out, and was 11th overall in the MVP stakes.

Levy had an outstanding tournament with the ball, ranking 18th in the bowling list.

Team coach Mel Knight, also of Gisborne, said these rankings were a fantastic result for the trio.

“Grace (Levy) was in her first tournament and will be one to watch in the next couple of years,” she said.

In the first two days, ND played three 30-over games at Victoria Park in Whanganui.

In the first game, Christchurch scored 221-5 and ND could make only 135-9 in reply. However, Knight scored 50 not out in the chase.

In the second game, ND were dismissed for 109 and Wellington scored 110 for the loss of three wickets.

The Gisborne girls put on a combined match-winning display in the third game, against Otago.

Otago made 173-7, Levy taking 2-17 from four overs and putting the brakes on the Otago batters when it looked as if they would pass 200.

All three Gisborne girls took crucial catches in this match.

Knight took 1-14 off six overs, then anchored the run chase with an innings of 44.

At 51-1 after 15 overs, ND needed 123 runs from the remaining 15 overs to win the match.

“That’s when we hit the accelerator,” Mel Knight said.

Mia Reeves scored 44 not out off 38 balls. She hit four boundaries and, with excellent running between the wickets, set the game alight.

The winning runs came with five balls to spare and four wickets in hand.

A rain delay on the morning of Day 3 meant the games that day were reduced to 20 overs.

Against Central Districts, ND batted first and scored 111-4.

Kayley Knight scored 34 and Waikato Valley’s Carys Aveyard scored 36 not out.

Central reached their target for the loss of three wickets.

Knight took 1-14 and Levy, 1-23.

Levy and Reeves took a catch each in this game.

The game against Auckland was the team’s toughest match of the tournament.

“Auckland had dominated every game so far and we knew we were up against it,” Mel Knight said.

Batting first, ND posted 85. The highlight was an innings of 29 off 17 balls by Reeves, who also ran out the Auckland opener.

Auckland passed the ND total with only two wickets gone and with several overs to spare.

On Day 4, Northern played Otago again.

Otago were in trouble early, losing two wickets for two runs. Kayley Knight dismissed both openers in her first two overs and took 2-15 in the innings.

Grace Levy kept up the pressure from the other end, taking 1-17.

Best of the ND bowlers was Gisborne-born, Bay of Plenty-based, Tash Wakelin (4-24).

The chase started well, Knight anchoring it with 56. A quickfire knock of 26 from Reeves got ND ahead of the required run rate.

Northern needed 13 runs from two overs, but Otago’s best bowler, Paige Loggenberg, proved virtually unhittable.

That left ND needing nine off the last over.

A wicket from the first ball got Knight on strike. She hit the second ball for four, but was run out on the next.

A single and a leg bye meant a four was needed off the last ball. A swing and a miss meant Otago finished their tournament with a win.

Knight has Northern Premier League Twenty20 games in Auckland tomorrow, and from Monday she and Reeves will also play in the national u18 girls’ tournament in Wellington.

Mel Knight said she was pleased with the team, especially the Gisborne girls, with whom she had worked a lot this season.

She said a Poverty Bay girls’ u15 team would play the strong Waikato Valley side in Cambridge next weekend.

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