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Champs Lansdowne on back foot going into final

Hayden Barrett … key bowler for Lansdowne. PHOTOS/FILE

Red Star chasing victory

CRICKET

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Burger King Red Star won’t be sitting back and playing for the draw in the Bidwill Cup final against Jackson Street Bar Lansdowne at the Queen Elizabeth Park Oval starting today at noon.

As top qualifiers for the two-day competition final, Red Star only need a draw against the defending champions to claim Wairarapa’s premier club trophy, whereas Lansdowne need to win outright.

But Red Star captain Peter Sigvertsen said on Thursday they wanted to win in style.

“We’ve talked about it. We want to go for the outright win, and we won’t be changing our attacking approach,” Sigvertsen said.

Preparation of the Oval pitch has been limited with restrictions on water use. The variable bounce and pace of recent games is of some concern to Sigvertsen, and how it plays may change his mindset.

“It’s been a bit up and down and hopefully it plays all right,” he said.

“Depending on the situation of the game, we might have to change and play a bit more defensively.”

Red Star will field close to a full strength XI.

Wairarapa representative Robbie Anderson and Tim Burling will open the batting with Anthony Sprowson, Brock Price, Nathan Elliott, Stefan Hook, and Cole Freeman filling the middle order.

Tim Burling … will open the batting for Red Star.

The bowling is where Red Star hold a decided advantage. Hook, who recently made his first-class debut for the Central Stags, Sigvertsen, veteran Jared Watt, and Hamish Finlayson will be the seamers while Price and Freeman provide the spin.

Both teams will be without their Rathkeale College students.

Jake Jonas and Alfie McIntosh for Red Star, and in-form batsman Gus Borren for Lansdowne are playing for Rathkeale in an inter-school fixture with St Peter’s School, in Cambridge this weekend.

Although Borren has had limited appearances for Lansdowne, he has been in outstanding form, having scored 62 and 147 in his most recent outings for the team.

Jonas is also developing into a solid opening batsman, which was evident in his 69 not out in batting through the innings in Red Star’s outright win over Lansdowne two weeks ago.

Sigvertsen was disappointed the students will miss the final.

“It would’ve been nice to have the Rathkeale boys there, They’ve been a big part of our team, but then again we don’t have to go chasing the ball from Gus, who’s been smashing it,” he said.

The Lansdowne team will be missing Wairarapa captain Jaco Vorster, whose absence will leave a big hole in the middle order and in the seam bowling ranks.

Regular captain Jack Forrester will return to lead the team after missing the past two games and will likely bat at number three.

Wairarapa rep John McKenzie and all-rounder Hugo Wakeling will open the batting with Robbie Speers, Greg Dennes-Wilson, and Reece Hannam making up the middle order.

Hannam will head the seam bowling attack on the back of destroying the Auto Imports Marist batting last Saturday with six wickets for 28 runs.

He will have the experienced Hayden Barrett as his likely new ball partner.

Much will rely on the Lansdowne slow bowling attack of Sanjay Patel and leg-spinners Wakeling and Speers, who are capable of taking advantage in any inconsistencies in the Oval pitch.

With nothing to lose, Lansdowne are likely to take a win-at-all-costs attitude in an attempt to retain their title against their most bitter rivals.

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