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Bidwill Cup final spots up for grabs

Robbie Speers has been key for Lansdowne with bat and ball. PHOTO/FILE


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The finalists for the Bidwill Cup are to be decided in an intriguing last round of matches today.

Burger King Red Star lead the competition on 17 points, with Wairarapa Mitsubishi Greytown on 13 points and Jackson Street Bar Lansdowne on 12 points.

Auto Imports Marist are virtually out of contention on five points.

Red Star are almost certain to play in the final, barring a major upset.

Their equation is simple, pick up an outright win [seven points] or three bonus points and a winning draw [four points] and their place is guaranteed.

Red Star have been the form team of the Bidwill Cup and only a late declaration against Marist cost them maximum points in that game. Plus, their experience in the Coastal Challenge means they start the hottest of favourites to beat Greytown at Greytown.

With a batting line-up likely to feature representative players Jake Jonas, Robbie Anderson, an in-form Brock Price, and Stefan Hook, who has realised his batting potential this season, Red Star have the players to take advantage of a Greytown bowling attack more accustomed to the 40-over Umpires Cup competition.

Red Star also hold a decided edge in the bowling department with the pace of Hook and accuracy of medium pacer Peter Sigvertsen a step up from what the Greytown batsmen have faced throughout the season.

Lansdowne’s depth makes them favourites to progress to the final, but they face a tricky encounter against an unpredictable Marist at the Queen Elizabeth Park Oval.

The Lansdowne batsmen have had little trouble scoring runs, with the likes of Robbie Speers, Hugo Wakeling, and Jaco Vorster showing good form, and they should be able to capitalise on Marist’s medium pace attack.

However, bowling has been Lansdowne’s downfall most of the season and they have relied heavily on the slow bowlers, in particular Sanjay Patel and the leg spin of Speers.

If Wakeling plays, his leg spin could prove vital on an oval pitch that has been slow and with variable bounce in recent weeks.

The Marist batting relies heavily on representative top order batsman Jared van Deventer. If he gets going, he has the potential to singlehandedly take the game away from Lansdowne.

Opener Keith Pullman and number three Kris Towgood are expected to boost the Marist batting order after missing the outright loss to Greytown last weekend.

Both games start at midday today.

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