The Bidwill Cup will go right to the wire after Burger King Red Star scored a rare outright win and closed the gap on the Barbarians at the top of the table.
The defending champions went into their penultimate round match against Lansdowne knowing that they probably needed an outright victory to ensure Wairarapa Cricket’s premier club championship would be decided in the final round.
As it was, Red Star demolished a poor Lansdowne side by an innings and 62 runs and moved within three points of the Barbarians, who recovered from a horror first turn at bat to beat Inspire Living Greytown on the first innings and pick up some valuable bonus points.
Scoring enough runs and dismissing the opposition twice, all within 100 overs, is a big ask, and Red Star knew they had to be aggressive after being sent into bat by Lansdowne on Queen Elizabeth Park Oval.
Wairarapa representative opener Jake Jonas led the way with a brilliant 106no [105 balls, seven fours and five sixes] and combined in a match-winning third wicket partnership of 155 with rep wicketkeeper Nathan Elliott, who smashed a better-than-a-run-a-ball 81, as Stars amassed 200–3 declared in the 34th over.
Lansdowne lost early wickets to be 7–2 before a mini recovery saw them through to 43, but the last eight wickets fell for just 18 runs as they were rolled for 61, with Alex Mason and Devon Collins each picking up three wickets.
Having been forced to follow on, Lansdowne needed to bat 30 overs to avoid a humiliating defeat but showed poor application against the accurate Red Star bowling and were bundled out for 77 in the 25th over. Veteran Pete Sigvertsen was the best of the Stars’ bowlers, picking up 4–18 off seven overs, while Shaun Dudson picked up 3–10.
Red Star walked away with a mammoth 24 points, through 12 for the outright, the maximum four bonus points for batting and eight from their two bowling stints.
The Barbarians needed something special from their bowlers after being dismissed for a paltry 90 at Greytown. Up stepped representative medium-fast Ethan Childs, who was almost unplayable, picking up five of the top six batters to have the home side reeling at 15–6.
Fellow representative seamer Jack Wakeling chimed in with two wickets, and a score below 50 looked on the cards at 22–7, but a lower order recovery led by number nine Michael Courtman, who was the last batter to fall for 31 [the first time he has been dismissed in the championship this season]
saw Greytown reach 76.
The second innings for the Barbarians was about earning valuable bonus points, picking up two to finish 151–6 at stumps, led by captain Quinn Childs with an aggressive 42 off just 27 balls.
With only three points separating the Barbarians and Red Star first innings points could be enough to decide the championship when the two meet at Greytown on December 16.
Red Star 200–3 decl. [Jake Jonas 106no, Nathan Elliott 81, Cameron Scandlers 2–23] won outright over Lansdowne 61 [Alex Mason 3–13, Devon Collins 3–6] and 77 [Pete Sigvertsen 4–18, Shaun Dudson 3–10] by an innings and 62 runs.
Barbarians 90 [Jack Wakeling 25; Byron Hegglin 4–22, Rickey Dey 3–7] and 151–6 [Quinn Childs 42, Caleb Burling 28; Tony Russo 3–37] won on first innings over Greytown 76 [Michael Courtman 31; Ethan Childs 7–29].
Barbarians 65, Burger King Red Star 62, Inspire Living Greytown 45, and Lansdowne 23.