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Finalists all teed up

CRICKET T20

Forrester Valuations Vikings will play the Osborne Group Strikers in the inaugural Wairarapa T20 League final tonight after a convincing 37-run win over Subway Sixers in Wednesday’s semifinal.

A rapid-fire 64 not out to Andrew Taylor was the backbone of the Vikings’ innings of 170-5 off their 20 overs. The Rathkeale wicketkeeper-batter strode to the middle of Queen Elizabeth Park Oval after the dismissal of Wairarapa all-rounder Gus Borren, who had given his side a rollicking start with 42 from 34 balls, an innings featuring six fours and one six. Taylor was brutal on any loose bowling, smashing nine fours and two sixes from the 39 balls he faced. Wairarapa wicketkeeper Nathan Elliott also contributed, with a cameo of 25 from 13 balls [two fours and two sixes].

Robbie Speers was the best of the Sixers’ bowlers, taking three wickets for six runs off his four overs.

Rathkeale left-arm medium-fast bowler Angus Jaspers then knocked off the top of the Sixer’s batting line-up, claiming openers Mark Steventon and Jared van Deventer for just 25 runs. Then it was the Sanjay Patel show, with the veteran slow bowler grabbing the next four wickets to fall and conceding only 20 runs off his four overs.

Ethan Childs hit a rollicking 51no [29 balls, three fours and two sixes], but it was too little too late as the Sixers were dismissed for 133 overs in the 18th over.

The Strikers and the Vikings go into tonight’s final at the Oval, having shared their two previous encounters. The Strikers easily won the first-round clash by 70 runs, and the Vikings took out the second match by five wickets.

Picking a winner in T20 cricket is fraught with risk, given the unpredictable nature of the abbreviated version of the game. Both teams had four wins and two losses through the round-robin and are likely to be at near full strength, although the Strikers will almost certainly be missing their trump card Seth Rance, who is away with the Central Stags on their Ford Trophy campaign. The first ball will be bowled at 5.15pm at the Oval.

Brief Scores

Forrester Valuations Vikings 170-5 [Gus Borren 42, Andrew Taylor 64no, Nathan Elliott 25; Robbie Speers 3-6] beat Subway Sixers 133 [Ethan Childs 51no; Sanjay Patel 4-20, Angus Jaspers 2-16, Jake Jonas 2-28, George Deans 2-32] by 37 runs.

Bidwill cup

Wairarapa Cricket’s premier trophy is up for grabs when traditional rivals Burger King Red Star and McDonald’s Lansdowne square off in the two-day final at the Oval tomorrow and Sunday.

Top qualifiers Red Star go in with a decisive advantage of only having to avoid an outright defeat to win the Bidwill Cup for the third time in four seasons, whereas Lansdowne need to win outright to lift the trophy.

Red Star easily won their round-robin contest and the depth and experience of their squad, which features at least eight Wairarapa representative players, entitles them to favouritism.

Lansdowne also have potential match-winners in veterans Speers and Patel, while Wairarapa College Samuel Payne has the ability to change the game with bat and ball. However, it is doubtful they have the depth in batting and bowling to sustain the pressure over two days.

Play is scheduled to get underway at 12 midday tomorrow and 11am Sunday.

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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