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Rance making big waves

By Gary Caffell

Black Caps selection could be looming for ace Wairarapa cricketer Seth Rance.

The Greytown pace bowler was a huge success story for the Central Stags in all forms of the game on the domestic front last summer and he has continued to make a favourable impression since then.

Once through his Stags commitments,  Rance, 29, took up a late offer from the Furness club to be their  professional player-coach for the 2016 North Lancs and Cumbria league season in England.

Rance was engaged after Furness had to move quickly to fill the role when a deal to sign Sri Lankan international Kosala Kulasekera fell through due to visa issues. It was a former Furness professional and Black Cap paceman Shane Bond who recommended Rance who can lay claim to being the most economical seamer in New Zealand Twenty20 cricket, having taken 39 wickets at 19.85 in 29 matches with an economy rate of 7.07 and a strike rate of 16.8 balls per wicket.

Rance’s CV also included back-to-back Ford Trophy wins with the Stags (2014-15 and 2016-16) and he topped the bowling charts in the latter of those seasons by taking 19 wickets at 13.78.

To say Furness got good value out of Rance would be an understatement. The 90 wickets he took for them represented a club record and they came at an average of just eight runs per wicket.

The standard of play in the league was, in Rance’s opinion, a mix of what Wairarapa would normally experience in Hawke Cup games and that produced by the top club sides here and he was “very happy” with his form.

“Things went well, every bit as good as I hoped,” he said.

Rance’s return from England came slightly earlier than expected as he was named to take part in a three-match one-day series at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Dunedin featuring teams labelled as a New Zealand XI and an Emerging Players XI.

Players participating had already been involved with the Black Caps (Hamish Rutherford, Matt Henry, Corey Anderson, Adam Milne, Todd Astle) or were considered to be on the fringes of the ultimate honour and Rance ensured his name was kept in that frame by doing everything required of him. He was the standout bowler for the Emerging Players in the opening game, taking 3-38 off his eight overs, and was among the wickets in the other two matches as well.

“It was a good experience. As bowlers we were asked to execute in certain ways and again things seem to work out pretty well for me,” Rance said. “The coaches and selectors that were there gave me some good feedback so I have to be happy with that.”

Such is the busy workload of a professional cricketer these days that Rance’s appearances for Wairarapa in the coming season are likely to be confined to the Chapple Cup one-day tourney and he also intends to be part of the Greytown side for the opening weekend of club cricket on October 7 and 8.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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