Post Office Hotel Wairarapa were looking to set up an outright victory over Whanganui yesterday when rain brought an abrupt end to proceedings.
After holding on for first–innings points in their Furlong Cup [Hawke Cup zone two elimination series] Wairarapa were building into a strong position on a Queen Elizabeth Park Oval pitch that was starting to become more and more unpredictable.
However, the rain came at lunch yesterday, ending any hopes of either team pushing for outright points.
The home side can thank a superb double by Jake Jonas for their position after the all-rounder starred with bat and ball.
After being sent into bat, Wairarapa lost their first wicket in the second over when Taylor Bettelheim was bowled, bringing Jonas to the wicket.
From then he was a virtual lone soldier against an onslaught from the Whanganui seam bowlers on a pitch offering plenty of assistance. The only major support came from Quinn Childs , with the pair putting on 70 for the fourth wicket.
When Jonas was the eighth man to go, caught down the leg side for 82, Wairarapa folded quickly to be all out for 176.
Whanganui also struggled in the seamer-friendly conditions, and it wasn’t until veteran Mark Fraser and experienced Central Stag Ben Smith came together that they started to eat into the Wairarapa total.
Smith had missed most of the day’s play because of illness, and could only come into bat after the fall of the fifth wicket, so his was a courageous effort.
Just when the pair looked likely to threaten the total, upstepped Jonas to have Smith caught by Bettelheim for 25. The wickets of Fred McVerry and Fraser Kennerley off successive balls in his next over had the visitors nine down overnight, giving Jonas the outstanding figure of 3-10 off nine overs.
Ethan Childs ended the innings yesterday with his fourth wicket [for 32 runs], having Fraser caught behind for 53 in the third over of the day, giving Wairarapa a 23-run lead on the first innings.
At lunch yesterday, Wairarapa were 125–5, a lead of 148. But almost as soon as the players left the field, the heavens opened.
Wairarapa 176 [Jake Jonas 82, Quinn Childs 29; Connor O’Leary 3–72, Shaun O’Leary 3–16] and 125-5 [Quinn Childs 34; Connor O’Leary 3–42] won on first innings over Whanganui 153 [Mark Fraser 53, Joel Clark 29; Ethan Childs 4–32, Jonas 3–10].