Burger King Red Star came agonisingly close to their first win of the Coastal Challenge, falling two runs short of victory over Weraroa in Levin on Saturday.
Chasing the home side’s total of 223, it came down to the ninth wicket pair of Pete Sigvertsen and Patrick Wootton, who needed 10 off the last over, bowled by medium pacer Samuel Anderson, to snatch a thrilling win.
Wootton scored a single off the first ball, which was followed by a dot ball, and then a six to Sigvertsen, leaving three runs from three balls for the win, but the veteran medium pacer played and missed on the next two balls and could only scramble through for a single off the last ball, leaving Red Star one run short of Weraroa’s total.
“We couldn’t believe it, and we thought we’re on here when we needed three off three balls, and poor ‘Siggy’ was pretty gutted,” said Red Star captain Jeremy Anderson, who was proud of the fight shown by his team.
“In years gone by, we would have probably folded and lost by 100 runs in that sort of game, we 89-4, and we fought on, and that was pleasing.”
Anderson added that although the outcome was disappointing, it was a good game against a Weraroa team that bears little resemblance to the easy beats of recent seasons, and there were plenty of positives.
“To bowl them out for 223 was a pretty good effort, I thought.
“The pitch was a little bit spongy and slow, but they’re a good side, and they’ve got some good batters.
“We fielded brilliantly; it’s probably the best fielding effort I’ve seen from a team I’ve played in since I came back from the UK, which really helped us, and we bowled reasonably well.”
Anderson was thrilled to restrict Weraroa to 223 when at one stage, a score in excess of 250 was on the cards when they were 184-4.
The best of the Red Star bowlers was medium pacer Jake Jonas, who picked up 5-32 off his 10 overs.
The loss of prolific scorer Jonas for a duck was a big blow for Red Star’s chances in the run chase.
Five batters managed scores of 20 or more, with Gus Borren the top scorer with 45, but Anderson felt the inability of one or more batters to go on past 50 proved the difference in the end.
Despite the loss, Anderson believes Red Star are realistic championship contenders.
“They [Weraroa] are unbeaten so far and are probably one of the better sides, so I said if we can make the semis, we’re a real chance of winning the thing.
“If we can win three of the last four games, we should be there or thereabouts.”
Weraroa 223 [Blake de Burgh 61, Thomas Morgan 35, Prabodha Arthavidu Ellawala Liyanage 36; Jake Jonas 5-32] beat Burger King Red Star 222-8 [Robbie Anderson 32, Gus Borren 45, Trey Bidois 31, Mark Steventon 29; Keegan MacLachlan 4-32] by one run.