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Red Star end on a high

Burger King Red Star ended a frustrating Coastal Challenge championship with a resounding 112-run victory over top qualifiers Whanganui United at Queen Elizabeth Park Oval on Saturday.

Red Star went into the final round-robin match looking for their first win but with no chance of making the semifinals after a disruptive campaign, with their two previous home games having been washed out and two other matches ending in narrow losses.

After being sent into bat, Red Star found quick scoring difficult on the slow Oval pitch, losing regular wickets to be 91-5 and in danger of not posting a competitive score.

It took young guns Mark Steventon and Ethan Childs to steady the innings with a sixth- wicket partnership of 63 runs, the highest of the match, and a stand characterised by clever shot placement and outstanding running between the wickets.

Steventon’s top score of 42 came from 69 balls and featured four fours and one six, while Childs was dismissed for 32 from 57 balls. Number 8 Gurdev Singh hit a rapid-fire 29 from 26 balls [two fours and one six] to boost the score to a respectable 202.

United’s veteran English opener Greg Smith looked like he would once again terrorise a Wairarapa bowling attack as he has done several times previously, especially as he was dropped on the boundary in the first over, but when he was dismissed for 24 with the score at 49-2, there was little resistance, with United losing their last nine wickets for 41 runs.

The highlight of a superb Red Star fielding effort was a brilliant diving outfield catch by Childs. A Sam Roebucks shot over square leg off spinner Alex Mason looked headed for the boundary, only for the athletic Childs to run 25-30 metres and dive full stretch to catch the ball reverse cup just inches off the ground.

Shortly afterwards, Steventon followed that with another impressive effort diving full length to catch the experienced all-rounder Simon Badger for one run.

Childs topped an excellent game with two wickets for 28 runs off seven overs off his medium-fast bowling.

Kuranui student Mason highlighted his massive potential with 4-28, often bamboozling the United batters with his mix of top-spinners and googlies, while medium pacer Patrick Wootton continued the good form that earned him a representative call-up this season, with 3-14.

The win highlighted that Red Star were better than the record of one win, three losses, and two washouts would indicate. Their two previous scheduled home games against Whanganui Marist and Paraparaumu were clearly winnable games, while they suffered two narrow losses to Levin side Weraroa by one run, and Kapiti Old Boys by two wickets.

Brief Scores

Burger King Red Star 202 [Mark Steventon 42, Ethan Childs 32, Gurdev Singh 29, Nathan Elliott 23; Duane Marakai 3-32, Lovedeep Randhawa 2-32, Chris Sharrock 2-41] beat Whanganui United 90 [Greg Smith 24; Childs 2-28, Patrick Wootton 3-14, Alex Mason 4-26] by 112 runs.

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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