“The single best all-round performance I’ve ever seen from a Wairarapa cricketer!”
That’s how Post Office Hotel Wairarapa coach Mark Childs described Jake Jonas’s outstanding batting, bowling and fielding effort in the first innings win over Whanganui in a Furlong Cup clash at Queen Elizabeth Park Oval.
Whanganui won the toss on Saturday and didn’t hesitate inserting the home side on a pitch that would provide plenty of assistance for the seam bowlers, and it didn’t take long for Jonas to be thrust into action, entering the fray with the dismissal of loan player Taylor Bettelheim, bowled with the second ball of the second over.
While his partners came and went, Jonas was composed and confident, and prepared to wait for the bad ball to put away. He also found good support from Quinn Childs , with the pair adding 73 for the fifth wicket, while there were mini partnerships of 38 with Jaco Vorster  and 34 with Nathan Elliott .
When it looked likely Jonas would lead his side into a strong position on the trickey pitch, he got a faint edge down the leg side to be dimissed for 82, an innings of 176 balls and featuring 10 fours and two sixes. Disappointingly, Wairarapa lost their last four wickets for three runs, when a total of 200 plus looked possible.
Jonas wasn’t down though, and his wonder day continued in the field, including a freakish run out, a stunning catch and three vital wickets, and Mark Childs reckoned he made it look easy.
“He saved a boundary with his right hand and was on his knees, reached back and swivelled round on his knees and threw the stumps down from side on,” the stunned coach said.
“Then he took a ripper of a catch off Ethan’s [Childs] bowling at short cover. This guy just moosed it and he just made it look so easy and just caught it and threw it back to the umpire.
“Then three wickets at the end – he took 3–10 off nine overs – it was just one of those days for him but it was incredible.”
One of those wickets was Central Stag veteran Ben Smith, who hadn’t fielded because of illness, but came in at number eight and was building a dangerous partnership with another veteran Mark Fraser, when Jonas had him caught for 25. He then snared another two wickets off consecutive balls to leave Whanganui nine down overnight.
Ethan Childs wrapped up the innings in the third over on Sunday with the dismissal of Fraser for 53.
Wairarapa were 125-5 in their second innings with a lead of 148 and looking dangerous with big hitters Seth Rance and Jaco Vorster at the wicket, when the heavens opened at lunch. Mark Childs was rapt to pick up 10 points from the match to move into second in the Furlong Cup standings, and with the fight shown by the team to be a in a strong position to push for an outright before the rain ended any prospects.
“To lose the toss and be put in it did plenty in the first couple of hours and we were like 28-4, so to show the fight that we did and I thought 176, if we bowled and fielded well would be defendable,” he said
Furlong Cup Provisional Points
Manawatu 33; Wairarapa 25; Hawke’s Bay, Whanganui 19; Taranaki 17; Horowhenua-Kapiti 15.