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Lack of runs hurts Korus

The inability to post a big score saw the Southey Sayer Wairarapa Korus finish their Mike Shrimpton Trophy campaign on Sunday with a four-wicket loss to champions Manawatu.

Batting first on a slow Queen Elizabeth Park Oval pitch, the Korus fell short of a competitive total, amassing only 123, spearheaded by Central Hind Melissa Hansen with an unbeaten 51.

The experienced 26-year-old has been harshly treated by the Hinds coaches, often batting her in the lower order when quick runs are needed, but Hansen showed on Sunday she is a quality top-middle order option after coming in at number three and batting through the rest of the innings, a point not lost on Korus coach Simon Roseingrave.

“For somebody who has had a lack of opportunities at that higher level, coming back and getting time in the middle was fantastic.

“We always talk about proving a point, but I don’t think it does prove a point because it doesn’t seem to get looked at, but for someone who hasn’t been able to do much for the Hinds I think it’s great for her to come back and show what she is capable of,” Roseingrave said.

“Mel again showed that experience and understood how to graft it out, and it held us together. I don’t think she would say it was her greatest innings because there were one or two chances that went down, but the fact is she stayed out there and kept us going, and others were able to bat around her.”

The prospects of the Korus posting a more competitive total took a hit when all-rounder Macy Lyford, who was establishing a useful sixth wicket partnership with Hansen, was forced to retire, having scored 22 off just 20 balls, after the recurrence of an injury that had impacted her season.

“We just didn’t get enough runs on the board, but we were hampered a little bit by only losing nine wickets with Macy having to retire hurt, and she was going well, and another 10 runs and I think we would’ve got us across the line.”

Lyford’s injury also meant the Korus went into the field without a recognised spinner, with Ocean Bartlett away with the Hinds and Liz Cohr unavailable, having returned to university.

The Manawatu batting effort was the Ashtuti Kumar show. The Hind opened the batting and was unbeaten on 69 when the winning runs were scored on the first ball of the 40th and final over. The only other player to make double figures was captain Sam MacKinder, with 10.

Roseingrave said everybody in the Korus wanted to finish the season on a high, and he could not fault the team on how they fought in the field, but in the end, the batting fell short, which was typical of the season.

“It’s something we’ve talked about a lot. We’ve worked on it at training in terms of trying to build innings, find gaps, and not trying to go over the top too early.

“I don’t think we’ve played on a road as such this season, so the pitches have stopped some of the players from playing the shots they’re used to playing, and it’s that hard work element to batting that has gone missing a little bit.

“We never put runs on the board; we never had one of those innings where we got 200 off 40 [overs], those sort of runs that allow you to dominate a game.

“We always tried to be positive, and when we won the toss, we would bat first because we believe that is the right thing to do unless it is a raging green seamer, but we weren’t putting runs on the board, and that meant we really had to fight with our bowling and fielding, which we did unbelievably well across the season.”

The Korus posted two wins over the season against Hawke’s Bay, away, and Taranaki, although Roseingrave felt the team could have won Sunday’s game and the away game with Taranaki, which was lost by 27 runs.

“We weren’t far away, and for some of the players, it’s now how to make those little changes and how do we get 10 per cent better.”

Roseingrave used 25 players throughout the campaign, and although that made it hard to create rhythm, it provided opportunities for others.

“We unearthed some potential gems when you look at the likes of Jess Monk, who has come and played only two games and shows immense promise.

“The Shrimpton Trophy – we’re there to try and win it, but we’re also there to try and better our players, and I guess across the season, apart from making a few silly mistakes, we’re still providing our players the opportunities to get better, which is the key.”

Roseingrave singled out Cohr, who will play for Central Districts ‘A’ this weekend, as a standout player, while he believed medium pacer Olivia Clark has bowled better than ever, is thriving, and deserves an opportunity at ‘A’ level at least.

The Korus are hoping to finish the season with a friendly against a Wellington XI.

BRIEF SCORES

Southey Sayer Wairarapa Korus 123 [Melissa Hansen 51no, Macy Lyford 22 ret. hurt; Jessica Ogden 3-8, Bella Minnis 2-17, Jamsine Odell 2-19] lost to Manawatu 124-6 [Ashtuti Kumar 69no; Olivia Clark 2-20] by four wickets.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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