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Inept Red Star put to the sword

Richard French gets the ball past wicketkeeper Jamie Pinfold during his innings of 23, Red Star’s top score. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV

CRICKET

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Burger King Red Star suffered a double blow to their Coastal Challenge championship prospects in a heavy loss to Levin Old Boys.

Not only were Red Star thumped by eight wickets at Queen Elizabeth Park Oval on Saturday, but they also lost strike bowler Stefan Hook to a potentially season-ending knee injury suffered in the delivery stride of his first ball.

After winning the toss, new Red Star captain Nathan Elliott chose to bat first on the pitch, which was showing signs of wear and tear before the match started, in the hope that it would worsen as the game progressed.

However, the move backfired, and the home side batters failed to adjust to the variable conditions, playing too many injudicious cross bat shots on a pitch offering inconsistent but mostly low bounce, with many balls struggling to get above shin height. That was evident with four of the batters bowled and another three LBW.

Their cause wasn’t helped with the slow damp outfield from overnight rain, which delayed the start and had the game reduced to 46 overs a side.

Stefan Hook plays an expansive shot in his brief innings. He later broke down while delivering his first ball.

The team had also not had any cricket for three weeks, but that was no excuse for an ill-disciplined inept batting effort.

Opener Richard French was the only Red Star batter to reach double figures, with 23, while the next highest contributor was wides with 20.

Spinners Dion Sanson and Curtis McLachlan were the best of an efficient Levin bowling attack, claiming three wickets each. Sanson was particularly miserly, conceding only six runs from his nine overs.

Defending 79 was never going to be an easy task for an understrength Red Star bowling attack. Still, it became even more challenging when Hook went down in agony after twisting his knee in the delivery stride of his first ball.

The match was held up for close to 30 minutes while an ambulance attended the injured seam bowler and took him to hospital.

Elliott confirmed on Sunday that Hook had suffered knee ligament damage and was in a brace. The extent of the damage would not be known until he had scans in two weeks, but it was likely that Hook’s season was over.

Once play resumed, Levin were untroubled, cruising to victory in the 18th over for the loss of two wickets, led by opener Jamie Pinfold, who finished on 38 not out.

Left-arm spinner Ojaz Patel was the best of the home team’s bowlers taking 1-28 off nine economical overs.

United defaulted their away game against Weraroa of Levin because of a lack of players.

BRIEF SCORES

Burger King Red Star 79 [Richard French 23; Curtis McLachlan 3-20, Dion Sanson 3-6] lost to Levin Old Boys 81-2 [Jamie Pinfold 38no, Andrew Simpson 28] by
eight wickets.

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