By Gary Caffell
Captain Esther Lanser led from the front as the Wairarapa Korus pushed Taranaki hard in their interprovincial women’s cricket match played in Wanganui on Sunday.
In the end the result went against Wairarapa with Taranaki winning by four wickets but the Wairarapa performance was a significant improvement on what they had shown in their loss to Manawatu in a first round fixture.
“We were looking for greater intensity in the field and more patience in the batting and we got both,” Wairarapa coach Simon Roseingrave said. “Obviously it would have been nice to get a win but we got close and that’s definitely a step in the right direction.”
Batting first, Wairarapa got through to 162 in 49.5 overs with Lanser being unbeaten on 70 after coming to the crease at the fall of the second wicket. The former Central Hind and Dutch international showed excellent shot selection on a slowish pitch, scoring many of her runs through cover or backward point. She faced 78 balls and struck four 4s.
All four of the top order Wairarapa batswomen made it into double figures. Melissa Hansen looked
set for a long innings before being dismissed for 20 off 52 balls while fellow opener Gemma Sims faced 64 balls for her 18. There was also solid resistance from Anissa Greenlees, whose 16 came from 48 balls and Kate Sims who made 14 from 34 balls.
Unfortunately for Wairarapa, however, their tail failed to wag and from being 152-5 with five overs to go they only managed to creep through to 162 all out with one ball remaining.
The pressure was then on the Wairarapa attack to make early inroads into the Taranaki batting order and at 39-3 they were clearly in the box seat. However, ex-New Zealand skipper Aimee Watkins (46 not out) and current Central Hind Kate Baxter (44) then produced what was to be a match-winning partnership.
The normal rain interruptions which have plagued this cricket season also arrived and a slippery ball made control more difficult for the Wairarapa bowlers and Taranaki reached their target with four wickets in hand and four overs to spare. Hansen completed a solid all-round effort by taking 2-29 from her 10 overs of medium pace and young leg-spinner Greenlees took 2-19 from five overs.
WAIRARAPA KORUS 162 (Hansen 20, G Sims 18, Greenlees 16, Lanser 70 not out, Elliott 0, K Sims 14, Pomare 0, Atkinson 2, Graves 1, Mauriri 0, Barrell 0, extras 21; fall of wickets, 29, 46, 89, 89, 152, 156, 160, 162, 162, 162; Baxter 10-3-17-2, Gurnsey 10-2-27-2, Washington 6-0-24-0, Hurley 10-1-31-2, Husband 9.5-0-33-4, McGaw 3-0-16-0, Foreman 1-0-4-0) lost to TARANAKI 165-6 (Husband 12, Hill 0, Pope 12, Megaw 11, Baxter 44, Watkins 46 not out, Hurley 3, Gurney 0 not out, extras 37; fall of wickets, 1, 34, 39, 71, 131, 152; Hansen 10-1-29-2, Roseingrave 7.2-1-24-0, Atkinson 6-0-27-0, K Sims 6-0-22-1, Lanser 9-0-37-0, Greenlees 5-0-19-2, Graves 2-0-4-0) by four wickets.