Burger King Red Star’s quest for their first win of this season’s Coastal Challenge doesn’t get any easier tomorrow, away to defending champions Levin Old Boys.
Red Star have had the bye, a washout and a gutting one-run loss to Weraroa in the three rounds played. A loss tomorrow would not end their semifinal prospects, but they would need to win all three remaining games to make the top four of the combined Wairarapa, Whanganui, and Horowhenua-Kapiti club championship.
Wairarapa’s sole team will be without key batters, captain Jeremy Anderson, in-form opener Robbie Anderson, and all-rounder Gus Borren for the 50-over match.
Robbie Anderson’s loss is a big blow as he has been in outstanding form, scoring four centuries this season, including his maiden representative ton, Borren top-scored with 45 in the loss to Weraroa last Saturday, and his ability to score quick runs in the middle order will be missed. The return of Wairarapa captain Jared van Deventer to the top order offsets their absence.
However, Red Star will front with arguably their strongest bowling attack of the season so far.
Ethan Childs and James Church bring pace, and along with stand-in captain Pete Sigvertsen, Patrick Wootton, and Jake Jonas, who nabbed five wickets for 32 runs against Weraroa, present a strong seam bowling quintet, with all five having represented Wairarapa.
Rep left-arm spinner Quinn Childs and promising Kuranui legspinner Alex Mason are sure to get plenty of work on a Donnelly Park pitch that is usually slow and provides plenty of assistance for the spinners.
Levin Old Boys’ strength is in a top order likely to feature past or present Horowhenua-Kapiti representatives Jamie Pinfold, Andrew Simpson, Bailey Te Tomo, and Dion Sanson – all have a reputation for scoring big runs quickly. Representative medium pacer Daemon Kennett will likely head their bowling attack.
Red Star wicketkeeper Nathan Elliott believes it will be a hard-fought game against what is close to a Horowhenua-Kapiti representative side.
“We’ve just got to stick to our plans, but we bowled and fielded exceptionally well last week, and it was a shame we couldn’t back it up with the bat, so hopefully, we can keep those sorts of standards in the field,” Elliott said.
Red Star: Pete Sigvertsen [captain], Jake Jonas, Jared van Deventer, Nathan Elliott [wk], Mark Steventon, Trey Bidois, Ethan Childs, Quinn Childs, James Church, Patrick Wootton, and Alex Mason.