Brown bats away for big record

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By IAN AN­DER­SON

Ni­cola Browne had three rea­sons to cel­e­brate re­cently.

She scored a cen­tury for the North­ern Spirit in their one­day win over the Welling­ton Blaze in Mt Maun­ganui, and dur­ing the week­end the star White Ferns all- rounder be­came the most prolific batswoman in New Zealand cricket domestic his­tory.

The former Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dent passed former New Zealand cap­tain Emily Drumm’s tally and went past 3000 runs, fin­ish­ing the day with her domestic ca­reer tally at a neat 3100.

‘‘ I haven’t really had a chance to think about it,’’ Browne said of her land­mark.

‘‘But fun­nily enough Emily Drumm was the one who really taught me how to bat. Firstly, watch­ing her thump us around the park when play­ing for Auck­land, and then when she joined North­ern Dis­tricts she took me un­der her wing and showed me how to build an in­nings.

‘‘I feel very priv­i­leged – and old,’’ the 29-year-old Browne said, laugh­ing.

Bat­ting first at Bay Oval af­ter a loss to the Blaze on Satur­day, the hosts made 243-3, with Browne scor­ing 115 off 143 balls, in­clud­ing 12 fours.

Spirit opener Nat Dodd made her sec­ond un­beaten ton in as many days, with an ac­com­plished 106 not out from 150 balls as the duo put on a record-break­ing 236 for the third wicket.

They then grabbed the prize wicket of So­phie Devine for 40 off 46 balls as the Blaze were rolled for 207 in 42.5 overs.

That gave the Spirit their sec­ond vic­tory in four matches from their one-day cam­paign to keep them in con­tention for a place in the fi­nal.

‘‘It’s a truly great achieve­ment,’’ Spirit coach Owen Stev­er­son said of Browne’s ca­reer land­mark.

On Satur­day, Devine ham­mered an un­beaten 137 off just 73 balls, as Welling­ton were 322-4 in their 50 overs.

In re­ply, Dodd made an un­beaten 113 from 158 de­liv­er­ies, Anna Petersen added 51 and Kerry-Anne Tom­lin­son 36 as the Spirit got to 262-5.

Devine is a great player, Stev­er­son said.

‘‘ I don’t think we bowled that badly too her – she was just too hard to com­bat,’’ he said.

He also praised for the in­form Dodd: ‘‘Nat was bril­liant both days. She bat­ted the full 50 overs both days and hit the bad ball away.

‘‘She works really hard at her game and to get back-to­back tons was a great re­ward.’’

Stev­er­son said his young side ‘‘was def­i­nitely mak­ing some progress’’.

‘‘ The cou­ple of games we have lost it’s taken some pretty good in­nings from the op­po­si­tion to take the game away from us. Even on Satur­day I thought that was a pretty good ef­fort and we just couldn’t match So­phie Devine.

Record breaker: North­ern Spirit all-rounder Ni­cola Browne has reached a record 3100 runs in domestic com­pe­ti­tion.

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