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Sisters steer Waicol to regional finals

Tahlia Jones-Dennes batting for the Wairarapa College first XI. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

JAKE BELESKI

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The Wairarapa College first XI girls’ cricket team are heading to the regional finals of the national knockout competition next month, thanks largely to the efforts of two sisters.

Waicol took on St Matthew’s Collegiate on Wednesday to decide who would head to the Central Districts regional finals in Whanganui, and Waicol batted first in the Twenty20 match.

Opener Kayarna Jones-Dennes [14 off 25 balls] and No 3 Tahlia Jones-Dennes [37 off 46 balls] were the only players from either side to reach double figures with the bat.

The pair combined to score more than half of Waicol’s runs, with the team finishing on 99 all out from their 20 overs.

The wickets were spread across the St Matthew’s bowlers, with Harriet Vincent [2-5 off two overs], Olivia Clark [2-26 off four overs] and Macy Lyford [2-20 off three overs] taking two wickets apiece.

St Matthew’s wicketkeeper Gemma Sims showed her class behind the stumps, effecting two stumpings and playing her part in a couple of run outs.

St Matthew’s needed to get off to a positive start in their run chase, but they were never in the hunt as wickets tumbled with alarming regularity.

They had lost half of their wickets with only 11 runs on the board, and were eventually dismissed for 36 in 13.2 overs.

Every Waicol bowler used took at least one wicket, with Ella Southey [2-7 off three overs], Kayarna Jones-Dennes [2-6 off 3.2 overs] and Jessica Roseingrave [2-7 off two overs] claiming two each.

The bowling was so effective that the top scorer for St Matthew’s was Harriet Vincent (eight off 20 balls), and no boundaries were conceded in the entire innings.

Waicol coach Esther Lanser said Tahlia Jones-Dennes had batted brilliantly for her 37, but it was a collective effort that got them over the line.

“The wickets were shared among the six bowlers used, and we took all of our chances and it was a real team effort.”

The team had been playing exceptionally well, and they were hopeful of challenging for a spot at the national finals.

“The girls are training twice a week at the moment so they’re putting in the hard yards and reaping the rewards,” Lanser said.

“I do have six Year 13s that I will lose at the end of the year, so this year is a really good opportunity to go to nationals with all that experience.”

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