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Ryder plots Red Star downfall

Jesse Ryder in action for Central Districts in 2016. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

CRICKET

JAKE BELESKI
[email protected]

A Masterton-born former Black Cap will be plotting Red Star’s downfall when they take on Napier Technical Old Boys next month.

Red Star will go up against Napier Technical OB – last year’s defending national champions – in January for a spot at the Central Districts regional finals of the National Club Cricket Championship, to be held later this summer in Palmerston North.

The Jesse Ryder-coached Napier Technical OB team emerged as the Hawke’s Bay qualifiers on Sunday, after beating Central Hawke’s Bay Cricket Club by 39 runs.

It is ironic that Ryder, who also plays for the team as well as coaching them, should be the one tasked with getting them past Red Star.

Ryder was overlooked by the Central Stags for the 2018/19 season, but has found a home in Hawke’s Bay, where he attended Napier Boys’ High School in his younger days.

The swashbuckling batsman, who played 18 tests for his country and 48 one-day internationals, has scored 25 first-class centuries and 11 List A ones.

He has three tons in both ODIs and tests, as well as half a dozen half centuries in both formats.

Well established as New Zealand’s end-of-season tournament, the National Club Cricket Championship is a competition pitting each major association’s one-day club champion against each other to find the season’s top club in New Zealand.

The competition is run by Auckland Cricket’s Cornwall Cricket Club at the end of the season every year, usually in April after the conclusion of the domestic calendar, allowing first-class and even international players to turn out for their club sides.

The competition consists of one-day cricket played in a round-robin format across the week, ending with a round of playoff matches on finals day.

In April this year, Napier Technical OB beat Onslow [Wellington] in a rain-disrupted 23-over final in Auckland.

Red Star will certainly have their work cut out when they confront Napier Technical OB.

The Hawke’s Bay club went into this year’s national finals on the back of winning six consecutive Bay club championships crowns, and they will be full of confidence.

Napier Tech OB are the only Central Districts club that has won the national competition in the 21st century, having won in 2002/03, as well as last year.

Red Star’s premier team has struggled in the Coastal Challenge Cup one-day competition this season, having lost all five of their matches to date.

They have enjoyed some success in the Umpires Cup 40-over competition, however, where they will take on the Rathkeale College First XI in the final this weekend in Masterton.

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