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Red Star too good for United

Stefan Hook plays a cut shot in his innings of 84. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV

CRICKET

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

A brilliant century opening partnership laid the platform for Burger King Red Star’s imposing score of 301-4 and a 127-run victory over United in the Coastal Challenge local derby on Saturday.

After winning the toss and batting on an excellent pitch at Greytown’s Memorial Park, Robbie Anderson and Jake Jonas wasted no time taking to the United bowling attack, scoring at more than five runs per over.

When Anderson was out for 51, the pair had put on 115 runs in 25 overs.

“They laid that platform and with the heat out there United were physically struggling because it was so hot,” said Red Star captain Stefan Hook, who flourished in the batter-friendly conditions, scoring 84.

“It made it easy for me to come out and just work it round and then obviously Mark [Steventon] and Nathan [Elliott] to come out and hit a few.”

For Jonas, who was eventually dismissed for a polished 77, from 101 balls and featuring nine fours, it was a welcome return to form after a lean trot.

“Jake’s probably been a bit light by his own standards, and he looked the part, but he probably threw away a big hundred.”

Elliott [23] and Steventon maintained the momentum towards the end of the 50 overs, with valuable cameos. Steventon stood out with his 35 runs coming from just 22 balls.

“He was very good,” Hook said. “He didn’t have much time, he hit a big six, and he can seriously play, so he’s going to be handy for the rest of the season. He’ll probably get a few more overs in as well, so he’ll be good for us.”

Chasing 302 was always going to be a tough ask for United, after spending more than three hours in the searing heat, and their prospects dived with the loss of their first three wickets for 41 runs.

Jaco Vorster takes the catch, just, to dismiss Jake Jonas for 77.

The dangerous Jaco Vorster and Rathkeale student Sam Jonas made a brief recovery taking the score to 88 before Vorster was out for 36 to the game’s surprise package, former All Black Zac Guildford, who Hook said bowled the house down in claiming 4-36 off 10 tight overs.

“I was bit iffy it being his first premier game of cricket and I didn’t really want him to match up against Jaco, but I took the gamble, and he worked him over and trapped him in front and bowled really well.

“If that’s what he’s like after one game, after five or six he could be quite a handful.”

The most pleasing aspect of the victory for Hook was that several players made worthwhile contributions.

“In the past we’ve been guilty of having only one or two contribute, but to have five or six do a job was awesome.”

Hook also had special praise for the Greytown pitch, which in the past has been known to play low and slow, and difficult to score on.

“The odd ball kept a bit low, and it took turn but it was pretty nice to bat on.

“I didn’t expect it to be that good, and it’s probably the best pitch I’ve batted on in the Wairarapa ever.”

The bonus point victory is the ideal start to the Coastal Challenge Championship for Red Star, who face a tough away trip on Saturday to Whanganui Marist, while United is scheduled to host defending champions Paraparaumu at Greytown.

BRIEF SCORES

Burger King Red Star 301-4 [Stefan Hook 84, Jake Jonas 77, Robbie Anderson 51, Mark Steventon 35no] beat United 174 [Jaco Vorster 36; Zac Guildford 4-36, Jonas 3-18, James Church 3-45] by 127 runs.

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