Young cricketers step out for Otago

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Two local teenagers are swapping the summer down south for the cricket pitch in Wanganui this week.
Tapanui teenager Paige McIvor (14) and Gore teenager Harriet Cuttance (14) will play in the Otago under-15 cricket side at a national tournament in the North Island town this week.
Paige and Harriet made the Otago under-15 girls’ side after trials in Alexandra and Gore in November.
It is the second year Paige has headed away for the tournament; she went to the annual tournament last year.
Paige, who has played cricket since she was 5 years old, was looking forward to heading back to Wanganui.
“I hope to do better this time around, getting better batting scores and getting better bowling stats,” Paige said.
The medium pace right-arm bowler has been practising a lot throughout the past year just so that she can get better.
While she believed she was a bowling specialist, she had also got better batting stats in the past year.
“I got my personal-best score as an opener in Alexandra recently, getting 64,” she said.
That score came as the result of getting more boundaries for the Otago Country side.
Along with a couple of tournaments with the Otago Country side, she has also been playing for the Blue Mountain College Colts side with players from years 9 to 13.
Paige is aiming high for the tournament, trying to play some good cricket and, hopefully, make the tournament team.
She believed they sent a strong team to last year’s tournament, where they ended up with their best performance, placing fourth.
She believed they had the potential to do better than last year.
After this year, Paige will no longer qualify for the under-15 side and with a big gap between under 15s and the next level, she hoped Otago Cricket would bring in an under-17 side next year.
She thanked businesses in the area for helping sponsor her trip to Wanganui, for which she had also fundraised.