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Bowlers on fire, batting needs work

Stefan Hook took 16 wickets at an average 15.44. PHOTOS/FILE

Batting collapses prove costly

CRICKET

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

The bowlers were the shining lights for Highmark Homes Wairarapa in their Furlong Cup campaign which finished with a first innings win over Hawke’s Bay last weekend.

Wairarapa finished fourth, 13 points behind winners Hawke’s Bay, who qualified to play Hamilton in a Hawke Cup challenge on February 14-15.

Apart from an embarrassing innings defeat to Horowhenua-Kapiti in the first round in November, the two-day Hawke Cup elimination competition can be considered a success.

Wairarapa were one of only two teams [the other was Hawke’s Bay] to have three first innings wins, against Wanganui, Manawatu, and Hawke’s Bay.

There could well have been a fourth, but the Taranaki match in New Plymouth was abandoned with Wairarapa well-placed before rain ended any prospect of play on the second day.

While Wairarapa, who also finished fourth in the 2018-2019 season, picked up 15 bowling bonus points, they could only muster eight batting bonus points over the five games.

Opening bowlers Ethan Childs and Stefan Hook led the way, taking a total of 36 wickets.

Ethan Childs.

Nineteen-year-old Ethan Childs showed his potential with 20 wickets at an impressive average of 12.8. He had a best haul of 6-51 in the first innings against Manawatu and finished that match with his first 10-wicket bag for 72 runs.

Remarkably, 14 of his wickets came in the last two matches against Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu, the top two teams in the competition.

Hook, who has gained an extra yard of pace, bore much of the responsibility as the senior bowler and didn’t disappoint, regularly troubling some of Central Districts’ leading batsmen.

His 16 wickets came at average 15.44, with a best return of 5-48 against Hawke’s Bay.

That included clean-bowling Hawke’s Bay’s Matt Edmondson [a regular tormentor of Wairarapa sides] for a duck, with a delivery described by one Wairarapa player as “a ball that only gets out top batsmen”.

Left-arm spinner Quinn Childs also had a solid return, with nine wickets at an average of 15.78.

While the bowling effort was strong, batting collapses happened too often.

There were scores of 61 and 83 against Horowhenua-Kapiti, 98 in the second innings against Wanganui, including losing eight wickets for 45 runs, and 62 in the second innings versus Manawatu when the last six wickets fell for one run.

The team’s highest score was 277 in the second innings against Hawke’s Bay.

Gordon Reisima, who usually batted at number seven, was Wairarapa’s top run scorer with 179 runs at an average of 25.59, with a top score of 62 against Taranaki. He was the only batsman to pass 50 twice, adding 54 against Hawke’s Bay.

Captain Jaco Vorster provided the top individual score with 77 against Taranaki.

The only other half centuries were scored by John McKenzie [52] and wicketkeeper Jack Forrester [57no], both against Hawke’s Bay.

There were encouraging signs for the future though.

Masterton Marist batsman Jared van Deventer made his rep debut at the age of 37 against Manawatu and showed he had the temperament to thrive at this level.

His four innings amassed 119 runs at an average 29.75.

Former Under-19 international Andy Dodd was all class in his first serious cricket for several years, scoring 28 and 47 against Hawke’s Bay.

Indications are that the 30-year-old intends to return to fulltime play for next season.

Furlong Cup final standings:

Hawke’s Bay 48, Manawatu 41, Horowhenua-Kapiti 36, Wairarapa 35, Wanganui 34, Taranaki 30.

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